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How to drive in different weather conditions

Driving in the rain:

  • When the road's wet, it can take up to twice as long to stop so it makes sense to slow down when it's raining.
  • If your vehicle loses its grip, or "aquaplanes", on surface water take your foot off the accelerator to slow down. Don't brake or steer suddenly because you have no control of the steering or brakes.

If your vehicle starts to skid:

  • Depress the clutch. Do not brake!
  • Turn the steering wheel into the direction of the skid.
  • When the vehicle straightens, steer along the road.

Driving in fog:

  • Use dipped headlights so other drivers can see you.
  • If it's really foggy (less than 100m visibility) and you can't see much, then switch your fog lights on. Switch them off once conditions have improved so they don't dazzle drivers behind you.
  • Fog is often patchy so try not to speed up as visibility improves. You could suddenly find yourself back in thick fog further up the road.

Driving through ice and snow:

  • Check for snow on the roof of the vehicle before you drive off. It can slip down over the windscreen and obscure your view.
  • If your tyres are making virtually no noise this could be a sign you're driving on ice.
  • If your vehicle skids depress the clutch and turn the steering wheel into the direction of the skid. When the vehicle straightens steer along the road. Don't brake - it will just lock up your wheels and you'll skid further.

Driving in windy weather:

  • In very windy weather we advise you to take extra care on the roads and plan your journeys by checking the latest weather conditions.
  • High-sided vehicles are particularly affected by windy weather but strong gusts can blow a vehicle, cyclist, motorcyclist, or horse rider off course. This can happen on open stretches of road exposed to strong crosswinds, or when passing bridges and high-sided vehicles.

Floods:

  • If you can avoid it, it's best not to drive through lying surface water as you might flood your engine. The deepest water is usually nearest the kerb.
  • If you do have to drive through flooded roads, use first gear. Move forward immediately to avoid stalling the engine. Keep your revs high and depress your clutch when you need to.
  • Test your brakes after passing through the water. If they work then you can drive on at your usual speed providing it's safe to do so.