Driving in Adverse Weather Conditions

Driving in adverse weather conditions is dangerous, as the vehicle will not always behave in ways that might be expected. This makes driving tiring and stressful, due to the higher levels of concentration required. Adverse weather conditions include high winds, driving rain, fog, snow and ice.

Drivers are often ill-prepared for driving in these conditions and the following simple safeguards are often overlooked.

When driving in fog, switch on front and rear fog lights but remember to turn them off when conditions clear as rear fog lights dazzle drivers behind (it is also an offence to drive in clear conditions with rear fog lights on).

Slow down when driving in rain as wet roads are slippery and stopping distances are dramatically increased. Turn on dipped beam headlights. Be aware when passing large vehicles that excessive spray can temporarily swamp the windscreen and completely obscure the driver’s vision.

Driving in high winds is unpredictable, especially over bridges and exposed high ground. Sudden gusts, known as wind shear, can cause a vehicle to veer violently. The driver should be aware that large vehicles may veer around in high winds.

Snow, sleet and ice are treacherous as road conditions can vary in a very short space of time and patches of black ice may be present. In times of extreme cold, it is advisable to have warm clothes, blankets, suitable footwear and even a flask of hot drink in the vehicle in case of a breakdown.

Wherever possible, driving in adverse conditions should be avoided. All major road safety organisations warn drivers to avoid driving in snowy conditions. If driving in snow is necessary, consider having a shovel in the vehicle.

Be safe out there!!

Contact Walker Health and Safety Services if you require assistance.

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