So the weather's taken a turn for the worse. How does it affect driving conditions?
With poor visbility and increased surface water on the roads, what should you do, before you start on your journey, and while you are moving, to stay safe ? A few key tips below;
- Before you start your journey, clean your windscreen, side windows and rear windscreen. Fill your windscreen washer bottle with screen wash powder or liquid (don't use washing-up liquid).
- Know how your car's ventilation system works and set it to keep all of your windows mist-free throughout your journey.
- Check your wiper blades, front and rear, to ensure they are fit for purpose. Replace them if needs be.
- Check your tyres, including the spare, for "Wear and Air". The legal amount of thread is 1.6mm. Running on a low thread depth increases your chance of "aquaplaning" (slipping) on the road. Underinflated tyres are more likely to be punctured by debris gathered in surface water, than those at correct inflation.
- Once you are on the road, you are much more likely to hit standing water than during "normal" weather conditions. If its possible to avoid the water safely, do so. Standing water can hide potholes, debris, dislodged metal shore covers and other nasty surprises. When you do have to enter a large puddle or pool, do it slowly and carefully and through the most shallow section. If another vehicle on the other side of the road is also trying to cross, give them space to come through first, or at least ensure that only one of you is attempting to get through at at time.
- Keep a greater distance than usual between other vehicles and yours, where you can see what is dictating their driving ahead, and prepare for it.
- Remember that you are the driver and you make the decisions for your own safety and that of your passengers. Don't follow other drivers assuming that they know what they are doing. In these conditions everyone needs to be vigilant.