Travel

photo of heavy snow

It is important to remember to always check the current travel advice before travelling during poor weather conditions and only travel if absolutely necessary. Check your local and national weather forecasts and keep up-to-date with the latest weather warnings before you travel.

If you are travelling by car, adapt your driving to the conditions and ensure you have your Emergency Travel Kit with you so that if you get stuck, you are prepared. Before you travel anywhere in severe weather, ensure your mobile phone is fully charged and that someone knows what time you are due to arrive. If you are travelling by train or bus, check online or by calling that the services are still running so that you don’t leave the house when you don’t need to. Always allow more time for your journey.

The weather in the United Kingdom can be unpredictable. Severe weather can strike suddenly so the best advice when severe weather hits is to stay off the road. If you must drive, remember over 90% of crashes are attributed to human error, so make sure you are prepared and drive for the conditions.

Driving in Snow

When it comes to preparing your car for driving in the snow, it is important to clear the windows and lights of snow before you travel. Also clear number plates, and to clear the roof to prevent the snow sliding down.

When it comes to driving on icy and snowy roads, drive very slowly as ice can be patchy. When using the controls it is important to have a light and delicate touch, driving at the lowest speed and in the highest gear possible, always leaving safe distances from the vehicle in front.

It is important to have a safe separation distance from the vehicle in front; the usual of advice of the two second rule is not enough in icy conditions, braking distances can be as much as ten times more. Be particularly careful when on hills and making turnings as the tyres may not have enough grip. If you do become stuck in snow or on ice then try using a higher gear to move away, this may give you the traction you need.

Visibility can be seriously reduced and the use of dipped headlights is essential in falling snow.

Driving in Rain

It’s important to remember when driving when it’s raining, or been raining, that the roads will be greasy. If your vehicle loses its grip, or ‘aquaplanes’ on surface water, take your foot off the accelerator to slow down, do not brake or steer suddenly because you have no control of the steering or brakes.

If you have to drive when there is flooding, don’t be tempted to drive through flood water as you risk flooding your engine – or worse – getting stuck if the water is deeper than you thought it was.

Driving in Fog

According to the Highway Code, you must use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced – generally when you can’t see for more than 100 metres (328 feet).

There's no obligation to use fog lights, but if your car is involved in an accident in reduced visibility and your fog lights weren't on, then it may be queried by an insurer. If you do use front and rear fog lights they must be switched off when visibility improves.

When there's fog around visibility can seriously deteriorate in a matter of seconds. Be extra vigilant and drive only as fast as conditions allow and maintain a greater distance between you and the car in front.