As winter arrives in the UK, adverse weather conditions such as heavy rain, ice and dense fog arrive too. The sudden change in weather conditions can make driving difficult for HGV drivers to navigate safely.
To help drivers drive safely this winter, Drive Personnel has put together our top tips for safer driving this winter.
One of the first things that you may face as you reach your vehicle in the winter mornings is windows, mirrors and lights impaired by ice, steam, mildew or even snow.
Any of these conditions can highly impair your vison of the road and Rule 229 of the Highway Code states that all lights, windows, and mirrors must be clear of snow and ice before you begin any journey.
Allow extra time in the winter mornings to efficiently clear the windows, mirrors, and lights of any impairment on your vehicle before you set off.
Driving in The Dark
As the mornings and evenings become darker sooner in the winter, it’s important to remember that visibility in the dark is reduced for everyone, and therefore it is vital that you remain visible to other road users and pedestrians alike.
Use Dipped Headlights – It is advised that drivers should continue to use dipped headlights for roughly an hour after sunrise and switch them on about an hour before sunset in the winter.
Use High Beam Headlights – When safe and legal to do so, use your full beam headlights to improve your vision of your surroundings and the road ahead.
Remain Vigilant – Darkness reduces visibility, and therefore it is vital to remain vigilant of vehicles, cyclists, pedestrians, and animals from all angles when driving in the dark.
Driving in Heavy Rain
When driving in heavy rain or on wet roads, it’s important to remember that stopping distances are 10 times longer than in dry conditions, so it is important to take it slow and keep your distance.
Use Dipped Headlights -When driving in the heavy rain or wet weather conditions, you should use dipped headlights so that other drivers can see you more easily.
Avoid Misty Windows – Another problem you may face when driving in wet winter conditions is misted windows. If you want to stop the mist from forming, experts recommend using cool air to lower the temperature on the inside of the glass, so it’s best to drive with your air-con on a little, as this will stop your windows from misting up.
Driving in Fog
Another issue facing winter drivers in the UK is fog. Fog creates dangerous driving conditions, reduces visibility, and becomes difficult for a driver to judge distance. The best advice for navigating foggy driving conditions is to take it slow and be patient.
Reduce Speed and Leave Room – Reducing your speed in foggy conditions and increasing the braking distance between you and the driver in front will give yourself more time to react.
Use Back Fog Lights – All vehicles must have at least one rear fog light, so when you find yourself driving in fog, turn on your rear fog lights as they improve your visibility to other drivers.
Use Front Fog Lights – If your vehicle has fog lights, use them. Front fog lights are specifically positioned to avoid glare and improve driver visibility.
Use Dipped Headlights – When driving in fog, you should only use your dipped headlights. Do not use your full beams. Full beams get diffused and reflected by the water droplets in the fog, making it harder to see.
Driving in Snow and Ice
When driving in ice and snow, the stopping distances are 10 times longer than in dry conditions, so the most important advice when driving in the snow or ice, is to take it slow and leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front.
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