In the UK we experience a range of adverse weather conditions that can affect the way we drive and how aware we need to be. Ice and snow aren’t all we have to be careful of; the sun can also be a culprit of accidents on the road. Here we discuss how to prepare yourself for driving in all weather conditions.
What weather conditions do I need to be aware of?
In the UK most weather conditions we experience can cause some form of hazard on the road. There are some modifications you can make to your car to help, but others are also the responsibility of the driver. So we always recommend planning your journey ahead of time and keep an eye on local weather reports.
Snow and ice
Over the past week or so we have witnessed some of the most extreme snow in the UK since 1991. Driving came to a halt as drivers were unprepared and snow had settled on the roads. Avoid driving if you are tired or feel that you cannot give the road your total attention. You should always be giving the roads your full attention, but senses need to be heightened when driving in the snow. Make sure to check weather reports before you leave for your journey if it is meant to snow heavily throughout your journey decide whether you really need to take it.
Before you set off, we always recommend ensuring you have a couple of items in the vehicle before you set off. Firstly, always have a spare blanket which you can pick up from The Edinburgh Woolen Mill and spare bottle of water, in case you have an accident or are stuck in traffic for prolonged periods of time.
When it comes to driving, you need to drive a lot slower than you usually would as your stopping distance becomes a significantly longer. Acceleration and deceleration should be completed slowly; this is to prevent the car from skidding. Always have your foot ready on the brakes, keep the heel of your foot on the floor and apply steady pressure with the ball of your foot on the brake pedal. This will allow you to be in control of the vehicle at all times. We also recommend if you can try your best not to stop, your car may potentially struggle to get going once it has stopped so if you can keep the vehicle rolling at a slow and steady pace.
Hills can often be drivers worst nightmares when it comes to snowy or icy roads. If you are going to go up a hill trying to get some momentum going on flat road before going up, also do not go up the hill unless it is clear. The last thing you want to do is have to stop midway up as you will either roll or not have enough momentum to keep going.
Rain and wind
Some forms of rain in Britain can be easier to drive in than others. In some cases where we experience torrential rain, we have to be more cautious on the road. We always recommend when driving in strong downpours take your time and don’t be pressured into driving at speed.
When it rains heavily a rather large amount of water can collect on the roads. You should always drive slowly, or if you see a huge water puddle slow right down otherwise, your vehicle can start to hydroplane which means your tyre cannot handle the amount of water it has encountered and is unable to push the water away from the tyre. Have your headlights on so other road users are able to see you at all times, even in broad daylight it is safer to have your headlights on then it is to not. Last but not least, give other vehicles more space than normal, it will not only take you longer to come to a stop, but it allows them to react to traffic without you hitting their vehicle.
Wind can be a tricky weather condition to drive in especially when it is speedy. For smaller vehicles, this can be more of a hazard in comparison to larger cars such as 4×4. When driving past larger vehicles be more aware of gusts of wind pushing your vehicle away from the other. Always keep a firm grip on the steering wheel, the wind will start to push your vehicle, so you need to be in control at all times.
Driving when it is sunny isn’t normally a hazard to driving however it can affect your visibility depending on what time of day it is or whether it has rained previously. If there has been raining that is still on the roads with bright sunshine you can often experience a strong glare off the road.
Bright and low sun can have a dramatic effect on visibility, even more so if you have dust on the inside of your vehicle. It is important to regularly clean your windscreen both inside and out during spring and summer months. We also recommend always having a pair of sunglasses in your vehicle; sun visors cannot always get the right angle of the sun especially when it is low. Sunglasses with polarised lenses are more effective at reducing the glare, and work well when the roads are wet. You can grab a range of unique sunglasses from Sunglasses Shop.
It isn’t always easy to see other road users when the sun is shining brightly; other road users may also be struggling to see so just be cautious of where they are on the road. We also recommend avoiding any sudden stops, come to a stop slowly and in a timely manner leaving road users behind you enough time to react.
Here in the UK, we have to learn to drive in a range of weather conditions which can sometimes be challenging. Make sure you know the local weather before heading off on your journey. If you are going on longer journeys, we always recommend checking your oil and petrol before setting off. The Deutsch Tech team have experienced a number of accidents that have been caused due to weather conditions, if you do experience any damages that need repairing visit BMW repair in Milton Keynes or Porsche Repairs in Aylesbury.