Q304: Have you any tips for driving in the winter conditions / fog?

Winter conditions -

  • you MUST have a full view of the road and traffic ahead, so clear snow and ice from all your windows
  • you MUST ensure that lights are clean and number plates are clearly visible and legible
  • make sure the mirrors are clear and the windows are de misted thoroughly
  • remove all snow from your roof and bonnet, to avoid it slipping or being blown over your windscreen, or flying into the path of another car
  • remove all snow that might fall off into the path of other road users
  • check your planned route is clear of delays and that no further snow falls or severe weather are predicted.
  • Drive slowly making any movements slowly and calmly.
  • If you have to brake, just pump the brakes gently this will help to reduce skidding.
  • If you do skid then turn the wheel the opposite way and that should help to correct your car's position.
  • Always leave plenty of room between you and the car in front.
  • Make sure you have a spade, blanket and water in the car in case of emergencies.
  • Move off in second gear to get a better grip on the road surface.
  • Try not to brake if you are on a patch of ice unless necessary.
  • Call ahead and let someone know your expected time of arrival.
  • If you are going up a steep hill use as high a gear as possible to stop your wheels from slipping.
  • Make sure battery is fully charged.

Fog -

  • Drive slower and watch carefully the road in front of you because fog can appear and disappear in an instant.
  • Use rear fog lights when visibility reduced to 100m or less.
  • Only use front fog lights when visibility is seriously reduced.
  • Turn radio off and open window slightly so you can hear other vehicles.
  • Do not follow the car in front too closely.
  • Do not use full beam head lights but dipped as these point to the road making it easier for you to see and for others to see you.
  • Use windscreen wipers and demisters.
  • If visibility reduced to less than 20/30m then your speed should be 20mph.

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