At MEB the Motor Centre, your driving experience is one of our foremost thoughts. We have already discussed in previous articles about winter driving checks and what should be in your winter breakdown kit, this article focuses on the type of weather you might encounter in winter and how best to cope.
Fog is the most dangerous driving hazard in existence (statistically speaking):
- Make sure you know where your fog lights are and when to use them
- Drive at a safe speed and check your mirrors before entering a fog patch
- Use dipped headlights, windscreen wipers and demisters
Do take a look at our longer article on how to drive safely in fog for more tips.
Sleet and Snow
If you know it is going to sleet or snow before you set off then the best thing to do is to get prepared:
- Give the car the once over (antifreeze topped up, windscreen wipers working, do any of your bulbs need replacing, the tyre tread passes the 20p test)
- Check over your winter survival kit (should contain a shovel, de-icer, spare food and drinks etc)
- Plan your journey and listen to local weather warnings and traffic updates
If it has snowed already then do make sure you clear the snow off the car fully before setting off.
We have a dedicated article for tips on driving in the snow here.
If you get caught in heavy rain this winter then beware of the following:
- Avoid using the brakes as much as possible to avoid skidding or aquaplaning
- Turn on your headlights, even in light rain. It will not only help you see the road but also for others to see you
- Wipe the soles of your shoes before setting off so you get a good grip on the pedals (wet shoes could slip)
- Make sure your windscreen wipers work properly – they should be replaced at least once a year
If the forecast for ice then you need to think about if your journey is really necessary. If it is then be prepared:
- Tyre grip is hugely reduced on icy roads so get your tyres checked over for the correct tread
- Brakes need to be fully working as well since distances will be a lot longer
- Drive as smoothly as possible
- Look out for potential hazards and keep your speed down
- A higher gear can aid grip on packed ice
Hail is extremely dangerous to drive in and should be avoided at all costs. If you are caught in a storm whilst driving, do the following:
- Stay in your vehicle as hail falls fast and can cause injuries
- If the storm is severe, pull over so that you minimise the risk of your windscreen shattering. Find a space under a bridge to wait for example.
- Avoid ditches as water can rise fast
- Angle your car so that the windscreen faces the storm – your windscreen is reinforced but not the side and back windows
We hope you don’t have to experience too many of these types of weather this winter but if you do then be prepared.