I’m sure most motorists on the roads think they are good drivers, in fact thankfully, most are! However, once we have been driving for a few years, we may occasionally forget that we need to adjust our driving style to the conditions on the road. Sensible driving starts with making sure your car is well maintained and in good condition. That involves regular servicing, fitting the correct car tyres and having repairs carried out promptly. Only then do you need to think about how the conditions affect the way you should be driving.
The main problems to think about are the lack of visibility and the quality of the road surface and how much grip it will give your tyres. For example, driving in both rain and fog reduces your ability to see much of the road ahead of you, as well as making the road surface slippy. This means you need to slow down and ensure you have your dipped headlights on. If it is foggy, your foglamps should also be on.
Most people are naturally very cautious about driving on snow or ice and are good at keeping their speed low and staying in a low gear. It is also important to ensure that any changes of direction or speed are done gradually; sudden movements can lead to skidding.
Poor driving conditions aren’t just those that come along with extremes of weather such as fog or flooding, even night time involves certain challenges that you need to consider. The biggest consideration for night driving is your vision. The last thing you want is to lose your night vision so you need to make sure that you don’t get dazzled by the headlights on other cars. Keep your eyes on your own lane rather than looking at the cars coming towards you, and if possible tilt your rear view mirror so that you aren’t dazzled by the cars behind you.
Whenever the weather conditions are less than favourable, the most important things to remember are to turn on your dipped headlights when visibility is reduced, slow down and leave space between you and the car in front of you. If you know that you are going to be regularly driving on slippery surfaces, make sure that you have the appropriate car tyres fitted for the conditions, whether that is winter tyres for snow and ice, or 4×4 tyres for driving on mud.