FG Barnes Top Tips for Driving in Bad Weather

As the summer, if we can really call it that, comes to an end we understand the importance of knowing how to drive safely and efficiently in bad weather.

Due to the unpredictable bad weather in England, it is better to be prepared in all conditions. We’ve put together our top tips to help you navigate the roads as conditions become wetter, colder and icier as the year draws to an end. Read more below to discover our handy suggestions for drivers who are planning to take a trip in difficult or unpredictable weather…

Avoid distractions

If possible, you should consider if you really need to take to the road in bad weather. If a journey is essential, try to avoid all possible distractions. You will need to pay full attention to the road ahead and what’s happening around you, and staying alert is key for a safe journey. Concentrate on the road at all times and ensure that you’re well rested before you set off.

Ensure you have essentials

Ensuring that you have essentials in your car is just that, essential. Water, warm clothing and a first aid kit are just some of the things you may need in case of your trip taking longer, or if your traffic is held up for a long time. Your journey could take longer in poor conditions, so you may want to ensure you have sufficient amount of petrol before your journey so you don’t have to stop off on the way.

Drive carefully

This one speaks for itself.

When the conditions outside are particularly bad, be sure to drop your speed a little and go slower. This will ensure you minimise any risks that might occur if you were to travel faster, and can give you more time to react and focus on what is in front of you. Another tip is to give yourself enough time for your trip so that you don’t need to rush or increase your speed.

Leave room in front

Experts recommend doubling the space between you and the car in front of you when driving in rain, snow, sleet etc. Brake time is slower when all of these conditions offer, so you must allow yourself extra room in front. In bad weather, it is suggested that you should at least double the 2 second gap from the car in front to give you more time to react.

Pay attention to your lights

Visibility in bad weather conditions could become more difficult to see the road ahead. Keeping your lights in good working condition is particularly important as weather has more potential to become bad, and checking these before a journey is as important as putting your seatbelt on.

If rainfall becomes heavy, you may struggle to see cars stopping in front of you, so lights are vital in preventing this. As the days get darker, visibility will be made trickier throughout the day, and it's also important to know how to switch on and off your fog lights if needed.

Avoiding aquaplaning and puddles

Aquaplaning is where there is a build-up of water on the side of the road, and when you drive past it your car tyres can’t move the water out of the way quick enough. This can essentially increase the risk of your car skidding and losing grip when travelling at speed.

To avoid this, always try to drive in the tracks of the vehicle in front, and if you can, avoid large puddles of water that have pooled onto the road. If it isn’t possible to miss it, slow down when passing and then pump your brakes several times afterwards to help dry out the brake discs.

So these are our top tips for driving in bad weather conditions, and are just a few ways to help keep you and your loved ones safe on the road as we progress to the colder months.