With snow and sleet showers forecasted in parts of the UK this week, roads will become slippery and much harder to navigate.
The drop in temperature and weather warning comes shortly after the disruption from storm Henk, with roads expected to be impacted as a result.
Driving in adverse weather conditions can be daunting, but many people don’t know the benefits of learning how to drive in these conditions. If you master adjusting your skill set to be able to deal with it, it will ultimately strengthen your abilities as a driver.
1. Avoid Cruise Control
When the road is covered in snow, sleet, or ice, you shouldn’t use cruise control. This is due to the fact that the constant speed can increase the chance that your tires will hydroplane and you could lose control of your vehicle. Only use cruise control when the weather is dry and there is no interference with the condition of the road.
2. Be Mindful of Puddles
If you are driving down roads that require some TLC, particularly down country lanes, then you should avoid puddles or icy patches as they could be covering potholes or other road hazards.
Driving over said hazards can cause damage to your car and lead to some expensive repair costs, including damage to your tyres and can result in your loss of steering control.
3. Use the Right Defogging Setting
At this time of year, the temperature reaches sub-zero. This in addition to snow, sleet, or rain, can mean that your windows are more susceptible to fogging up – caused by trapped moisture inside your car responding to outside temperatures.
It is important to have constant visibility when you are driving, especially if there is heavy snow or rain that could affect your view of the road. A quick and easy way to clear up your windows is by using the aircon. The defogging setting will pull the moisture from the air as it passes over the cooling coils.
4. Stay Updated on Weather Conditions
Before you set off, the best way to prepare for the weather is to have a look at the forecast in your location for the duration of your journey. By doing so you can anticipate any potential hazards as a result of heavy winds and changes in the road’s surface from the snow.
5. Turn on Headlights
As the nights get longer and the days become shorter, you may be driving in the dark more often than not. If the forecasted snow is particularly heavy, it can be hard to see what’s in front. Having your headlights on when the weather is obstructing your vision can help you see where you are going and also make yourself visible to other drivers.
6. Check your tyre pressure
You should always check your tyre pressure when preparing to drive in adverse weather conditions. You should also check the pressure when your tyres are cold, as the readings can be inaccurate if they are warm, for instance, after driving for a long period of time.
If your tyres are underinflated, it can negatively impact your control over the car and result in lower gas mileage. When the roads are slippery, you should have full control of your vehicle to avoid drifting and potentially causing harm to other drivers and yourself.
7. Watch your speed
It’s obvious, but when the weather becomes particularly challenging you should be driving at a slower speed in general. A big part of being a skilled driver is being able to adapt to particular weather conditions. If it is snowing, or roads become slippery, reducing your speed will help increase your reaction time.
This kind of weather also increases your stopping distances, therefore, a longer breaking time is needed. You should always drive at a speed where you have enough time to stop if the car in front of you were to stop suddenly. In wet weather, this requires a 4-second gap between you and the car in front.
If these tips are applied, you can ensure that driving in adverse weather conditions over the next week will be stress-free and productive.