The weather is as unpredictable in the winter as it is in the summer, which makes it difficult for people who drive for a living, to prepare. But, if you stick to a few bad weather driving tips, check the forecast before long journeys and keep your wits about you, you can be a safe driver who won’t be tripped up by a spot of bad weather.
Whether the weather is dishing out bright sun, strong winds or heavy snowfall, you should make sure you and your fleet are safe on the roads with our handy tips for driving in bad weather. To find out more about driving in snow, rain and wind, take a look at Fleetsmart’s helpful tips and advice below.
One of the key points for driving in bad weather is to prepare yourself beforehand, by being fully equipped. If you’re planning a long one-off journey or a week of long trips, check the weather forecast and pack what you may need.
Our suggestions include proper clothing, a torch, a windshield scraper, jumper cables, maps and sunglasses. All of these things may help you if you end up in a sticky spot, on the roads. Having all of this with you will give you peace of mind so that you can focus on safe driving.
Inspect Your Vehicle
Whether you’re driving a small or large vehicle, it is a good idea to check it over before a long journey, or when you’re expecting bad weather.
Make sure your tyres have no holes or punctures, aren’t deflated and have the correct amount of tread. If you are expecting heavy snow on your travels, be sure to take proper precautions with your tyres. You should also check your wipers to make sure they’re working properly and aren’t damaged in any way.
Make sure you’ve enough oil and fluid, and that your lights are working perfectly. If you’re driving a lorry or van, make sure any goods you are carrying are secure.
It is also recommended that you have a proper mechanic check your vehicle before winter.
If you are ever in any doubt whilst driving in bad conditions, simply slow down and give extra room. You should be leaving extra room whenever the surface of the road is altered, whether it’s due to rain, snow or bright sunshine. This is because your stopping distances are longer. It is particularly important to stay well back during heavy rain on big roads, as the rain splash will reduce your vision.
Skidding and aquaplaning are common driving mistakes that occur during rain or snow. To prevent this from happening to you, make sure you are braking and accelerating gently. You shouldn’t be pressing on your pedals sharply or hastily at any time.
Don’t forget to use the functions in your car to help you. Engage your wipers, fog lights and de-misters when necessary.
Other Weather Warnings
It is easy to see if its raining, snowing or if the sun is in your eyes, but there are some weather conditions which are difficult to spot, which you need to look out for.
If it’s been icy, be careful that there is no black ice on the roads which you cannot see. Observe the roads in front of you and slow well down if you are unsure about the road’s surface.
As well as this, sometimes you can’t tell if the winds are strong until it’s pulling you across the lanes, which can be very dangerous. So, make sure you’re aware of your surroundings. You can tell whether wind it strong by looking at any trees nearby and whether they are blowing. You can also turn down your radio so you can hear the wind, and make sure you adjust your driving technique accordingly.
Finally, if driving conditions are extremely bad, it is better to stay off the roads all together if you can. For more tips and reminders about life on the road, why not check out the rest of our help and advice centre?