Friday 8 January 2010

Driving tips for bad weather conditions

Once temperatures start to fall and there is the hazard of ice and snow on our roads, our driving skills are pushed to the limit. So do you know how to drive properly in adverse conditions?
A few moments thought and some small preparations before setting out could save you from problems on the road. According to the Highways Agency even when drivers are aware that severe weather is expected, almost half of road users do not take proper precautions.
Despite severe weather warnings many will continue to make journeys which are not even necessary. The advice is STAY AT HOME unless you really do have to travel. You could delay your journey for a couple of hours until conditions improve and keep checking the latest forecasts from the Met Office.
If you do decide to travel, carry a winter weather kit consisting of a mobile phone, boots, blanket, spade, extra clothing, food and a hot drink. Make sure you de mist and de ice your car fully before starting off. Check your car has anti freeze and lots of screen wash.
Once on the road, drive more slowly than usual and keep your distance from the vehicle in front. Be prepared to take more time than usual and let someone at your destination know that you have set off and your route and estimated time of arrival, so that they can alert the emergency services if you don’t turn up.
If you do get stuck, don’t run your engine all the time and keep a window open a little bit for ventilation. Raise your feet off the floor to avoid cold spreading through your body.

Driving tips for bad weather are as follows.
• Check both local and national weather forecasts.
• Only travel if absolutely essential.
• Take a bad weather kit with you.
• Keep your distance when following other vehicles.
• If you skid, ease off the accelerator, but do not brake suddenly.
• Brake gently, accelerate gently and turn the steering wheel gently.
• If climbing a slippery hill, use as high a gear as possible.
• Dazzle from low winter sun can be dangerous - carry a pair of sunglasses.
• Inform other people of your plans.

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