In wet weather, stopping distances will be at least double those required for stopping on dry roads.

  • You should keep well back from the vehicle in front. This will increase your ability to see and plan ahead.

  • If steering becomes unresponsive, it probably means the water is preventing the tyres from gripping the road. Ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually.

  • The rain and spray from vehicles makes it difficult to see and be seen.

Driving on icy or slushy roads

Icy roads throw up a number of problems, so please note:

  • It can take 10x longer to stop in icy conditions than on a dry road, so drive slowly and allow extra room to slow down and stop.

  • Use the highest gear possible to avoid the wheels spinning.

  • Manoeuvre gently, avoiding harsh braking and acceleration.
  • If you start to skid, ease off the accelerator but do not brake suddenly.

  • To brake on ice or snow without locking your wheels, get into a low gear earlier than normal, allow your speed to fall and use the brake pedal gently.
  • Ensure you keep as warm as possible, be prepared with blankets or coats.
  • If you get stranded in the snow, don’t leave your vehicle – let help come to you.

At this time of year, fog can be a hazard in any area of the country.

  • Fog drifts rapidly and is often patchy.

  • In foggy conditions, drive very slowly using dipped headlights.
  • Use fog lights if visibility is seriously reduced, but remember to switch them off when visibility improves.

  • Identify your fog light switch before setting off so you can easily turn them on when needed.
  • Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Following too closely can give you a false sense of security.

  • Avoid speeding up suddenly, even if it seems to be clearing. You can easily find yourself back in thick fog.

Flooding seems to be more prevalent in recent years and requires good driving practice:

  • Don’t attempt to cross if the water appears deep.

  • Drive slowly in first gear but keep the engine speed high by slipping the clutch – this will stop you from stalling.

  • Avoid the deepest water, usually near kerbs.

  • Remember to test your brakes when you are through the flood before you drive at speed.

Consider these good practice driving tips:

Have your vehicle checked

Ensure your vehicle is roadworthy by checking tyres, brakes, lights, anti-freeze, and windscreen fluid levels. Clean the windscreen inside and out, and inspect it for scratches, chips, and abrasions.

Use your headlights

Use dimmed or dipped headlights as soon as you notice decreased visibility. If oncoming vehicles have their lights on, it probably means that you should too.

Check tyres

Check tyres for condition, tread depth and pressure. If the tread depth is getting low, get your vehicle tyres checked (at no cost to your company) at either ATS or Kwik-Fit as soon as possible.

Reduce speed

Reduce your speed and keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Your vehicle takes longer to stop on a wet surface, particularly if covered with leaves or morning frost.

Beware of dazzle

Be cautious of glare from low sun. Ensure your windscreen is clean and smear-free. If driving towards the sun, drivers behind may be dazzled and may not see you if you stop. If the sun is low behind you, oncoming drivers may also be dazzled.

Start slowing earlier

Slow earlier for junctions, intersections, roundabouts and traffic lights so you don’t have to brake or corner so hard. Adapt your driving speed to suit the visibility.

Inspect windscreen wipers

Pay attention to your windscreen wipers to ensure these clean your windscreen efficiently.

Use fog lights appropriately

Only use fog-lights in extreme conditions, such as when the vehicles in front become difficult to see, and always remember to switch them off when conditions improve.

Wheel locking

If your vehicle is not equipped with ABS, should the wheels lock, release the brake briefly so that you can steer. With ABS you can ‘stomp and steer’ – keep your foot on the brake and steer in the direction you want to go.

Take breaks

Take regular breaks, even if you’re in a hurry. It will help you concentrate better, especially when doing long drives in poor or foggy conditions.