When we experience poor weather conditions it’s important to adapt your driving style. This type of weather brings poor visibility and reduced grip which can make your job extremely challenging. Good manoeuvring skills and skid control skills are essential. Here are some of our tips to stay safe behind the wheel in poor weather conditions.

Inspect the vehicle

Ensure that you have prepared your vehicle according to the weather to prevent any major problems. You should check the tire pressure, engine oil, wiper blades, fluids and lights before you set off for your journey.

Slow down

By driving at a slower speed, you have more time to react in the event that something happens. There is often risk of hydroplaning when driving at a higher speed. This can be due to loosing control of the vehicle due to slush in the road.

Keep a safe distance

Ensure that you keep a safe distance between you and the cars around you when possible. In the event of any unpredictable situations it’s always good to have extra room so you can move out of harm’s way. When driving in snowy and icy conditions more stop time is required.  This is due to reduced grip, visibility and the unpredictability of what could happen from the other drivers on the road.

FACT: The stopping distance on a wet road is twice the normal stopping distance. On an icy road it’s almost 10 times as much!

Turn on your headlights

Not only do you need to keep a safe distance from the other drivers, they need to keep a safe distance from you. Ensure that you have your headlights switched on so they can see you and maintain a safe distance.

Keep an eye out for black ice

Black ice is a thin transparent layer of ice that forms when the temperature is close to freezing. Black ice will make the road look slightly wet. How to spot black ice:

  • There might be a build-up of ice on the mirror arms, top corners of the windshield or antenna
  • There will be no spray back coming from the tyres of the vehicle in front of you

Pull over

If the weather condition become too severe and you’re nervous about driving, ensure you either stay parked at your location or pull over if you are driving. However, if you’re driving on a motorway do not pull over into the hard shoulder as other drivers may mistake you for a moving vehicle. Instead continue onto the next exit or services and come off safely there. Ensure that you listen to the weather reports and warnings so that you can react appropriately.

Be Prepared

Make sure you pack your essential bag and include a little bit extra! Ensure you have warm clothing and blankets with you. If you are going on a longer journey you might want to take other items such as a torch, windshield scraper, a bag of sand/salt and shovel.