Driving in Hazardous Conditions
With our notoriously unpredictable UK weather, we have to be capable of driving in all conditions here. Here are a few safety tips:
1) Night driving
It seems safer to drive faster at night because there’s less traffic around. But there are other hazards, like alcohol consumption and driver-tiredness, which actually make night-driving considerably more dangerous than daytime. Don’t take risks with speed – slower driving means faster stopping if the need arises!
It’s disorientating to drive in featureless, thick fog. Use dipped headlights and avoid tracking the tail-lights in front of you – they could be much closer than you think. Drive slowly, and don’t speed up if the fog lifts. It’s notoriously patchy and you could well be in another bank of it within seconds.
3) Flooded roads
To avoid stalling, drive slowly in first gear and slip the clutch every so often to keep the engine speed high. Stick to the middle of the road to avoid the deeper water at the kerb.
4) Winter driving
Always keep a windscreen-scraper handy and make sure your radiator has the right concentration of anti-freeze in it. Keep sunglasses handy to reduce winter sun-glare and remember, stopping in ice and slush can take ten times longer than in dry conditions. Drive slowly and leave plenty of room ahead. To avoid skidding, break gently and slowly reduce your speed using gears. In severe snow, try not to drive. If you have to, take a shovel, warm clothing and a torch with you (a thermos with hot soup would be a good idea, too).