How to stay safe by adapting your driving to the winter weather

Some weather experts are predicting a mild winter in the UK, others are suggesting it will unusually severe. We've yet to experience it fully as yet - it has been so far, relatively mild. Whoever is right though, one thing is certain: the coming months will feature plenty of examples of adverse conditions for business drivers.

For those of us who have to get around whatever the weather, here is a quick guide to how to drive in the five worst types of British weather.

Floods

Heavy rain

Snow

  • Use low revs and higher gears. Accelerate gradually and, if you can, move away in second gear to reduce wheel spin.
  • Don’t drive as fast as normal and leave much more braking space. Some experts say allow ten times more distance than normal.
  • Avoid following in other’s tyres tracks where the compacted snow will be more slippery.
  • If you start to skid, don’t stamp on the brake. Gently steer in the same direction as the skid until you regain control.

High winds

  • Strong winds are rarely constant. Reduce speed so you can cope with sudden gusts that can get under your vehicle and adversely affect handling.
  • Hold the wheel firmly and prepare for gusts as you pass high-sided vehicles.
  • Take special care on high exposed bridges and if you are towing anything.
  • Avoid parking under trees.

Fog

  • Turn on dipped headlights and fog-lights.
  • Note that automatic headlights may not turn on in fog, so do it manually.
  • At severely foggy junctions, wind down your windows to listen for approaching vehicles.

For more detail about winter driving visit the AA, or find out further info about driving in winter weather from The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.