Driving in adverse weather conditions

The forecasters are predicting a change in the weather with a high chance of snow, sleet, hail and high winds over the next few days.

Our Topspeed drivers are experienced to handle driving in all types of British weather, however even the most experienced driver should remind themselves of tips.

Here are five recommended by our friends at the RAC on how to cope with driving in adverse weather conditions.

  1. Check your vehicle is in tip top condition for the weather; that your tyres have adequate tread and are fully inflated.  Ensure your screenwash is topped up with anti-freeze to stop the water freezing and it is worth preparing for all eventualities by including in your car a demisting pad, torch, de-icer, ice scraper, blanket, shovel, phone charger, map and a square of carpet that could be used under your drive wheels if you get stuck in snow.
  2. Before you set off, clear your vehicle’s windows with warm water (not hot or boiling) or de-icer – it is illegal to drive with obscured vision.  It is also important to remove snow from the top of your car to stop this falling over your windscreen (or another vehicle) whilst driving.
  3. When driving in snow
    a. It is recommended that you accelerate gently, using low revs and change up to a higher gear as quickly as possible.  You may find that moving off in 2nd gear will help reduce wheel slip.
    b. Keep your speed down, allow more time to stop & steer and leave 10 times the normal recommended gap between you and the car in front
    c. If you do skid, steer gently into it – do not take your hands off the steering wheel or stamp on the brakes
    d. Compressed snow is more likely to be icy than fresh, so be wary of driving in wheeltracks of other vehicles.
  4. Driving in ice can be one of the most hazardous of all driving conditions, particularly black ice which is transparent and harder to spot.  Many of the tips for driving in snow also apply for ice, however it is also important to note that you should only drive if it is absolutely necessary, and turn back if conditions are too treacherous.  You may also want to ensure that you let someone know of your journey and the time you expect to arrive.
  5. Driving in Hail can be extremely dangerous, therefore:
    a. Stay inside your vehicle, hail falls fast and can cause injury
    b. For severe hailstorms, stop driving and pull over to a safe place, ideally under cover to protect your windscreen and windows from breaking
    c. Keep the car angled so that hail hits the front of the car, windshields are reinforced whereas side windows and backglass is not and is more susceptible to breakage
    d. Avoid ditches due to possible high rising water

Stay safe on the roads and we recommend you invest in breakdown cover.  At Topspeed Couriers, our vehicles are covered by RAC Breakdown Service.  For information on the services they provide or for more tips on driving safely go to rac.co.uk

Posted in News, Topspeed Couriers.