Winter and the stormy weather that goes with it are well and truly with us and, like it or not, over the next few months each of us will have to deal with wet and slippery roads. The dangers are amplified if those driving for work and as such forced to travel on unusual or unfamiliar roads.
In order help you drive safely during the inclement weather, ISM Training have put together the following tips. These are very helpful tips, even for people familiar with the basics of advanced driving.
- “SLOW DOWN!” It takes longer to stop or adjust in wet weather. This should be obvious but it is also very important. “SLOW DOWN!” is the golden rule!
- Maintain proper following distance and drive in the tracks of a car ahead of you
- Don’t follow large trucks or buses too closely. The spray created by their large tires reduces your vision. If you must pass, do so quickly and safely
- Avoid using your brakes; if possible, take your foot off the accelerator to slow down
- Turn your headlights on even in a light rain, or in gloomy, foggy or overcast conditions. Not only do they help you see the road, but they’ll help other drivers see you. If your car has daytime running lights you still should put them on, so vehicles behind you can see you better.
- Avoid off-road driving: it’s hard to judge the actual depth of puddles and you can easily become stuck, even in an SUV
- Never drive beyond the limits of visibility. The glare of oncoming lights can cause temporary loss of visibility while substantially increasing driver fatigue.
- Never drive through moving water: your car could float and be swept off the road.
- When driving through a puddle of uncertain depth, go slow. If it’s deeper than the bottom of your doors, turn around and find another route. Deep water can cause serious damage to a modern car’s electrical system
Before you go – Wet weather driving demands gentle use of all the main controls – steering, clutch, brake and accelerator – and a larger allowance for errors and emergencies. When you begin a journey in rain, your shoes will be wet and liable to slip off the pedals. Scuff the soles on the rubber matting or carpeting of the car before you start the engine. All motorists should regularly check that their headlights, tail lights, brake lights and turn signals are working properly.
How are your tires? – Check your tires on a regular basis. Bald tires significantly reduce your traction on wet roads and offer little resistance to hydroplaning. When your tires run over water, the water is displaced and it needs somewhere to go quickly. The best place is between the treads of your tires. If your tires are bald, the water has no place to go and you end up riding on a layer of water, like a boat.
Handling a skid – Losing control of your car on a wet road is a frightening experience. You can prevent skids by driving slowly and carefully, especially on bends. Brake gently before entering the corner. Steer and brake with a light touch. If you find yourself in a skid, remain calm, ease your foot off the accelerator and carefully steer in the direction you want the front of the car to go. This procedure, known as “steering into the skid,” will bring the back end of your car in line with the front. For cars without anti-lock brakes, avoid using your brakes. If your car has ABS, brake firmly as you “steer into the skid.”
ISM Training offers advanced driver training for fleet drivers as part of our ‘Driving for Work Policy’ Programme.
If you would like to learn more about how ISM Training and our Fleet Division can help you, call our friendly Customer Care Team today on 01 864 1790 and they would be delighted to discuss the consultancy and training options with you.
1850 530 40