THINK! Road Safety release key country driving tip
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Some 3,026 road deaths or serious accidents occurred during bad weather in 2021, a number that could be surpassed in 2022, according to experts at Nextbase. With that in mind, Bryn Brooker provided drivers with several tips they should follow in November and across winter.
Mr Brooker said: “Every year bad weather contributes to thousands of incidents on the UK’s roads.
“November is often particularly bad, as drivers deal with dramatically less sunlight and more poor weather.”
The first big change, even in fine weather, is that drivers will need their headlights a lot more.
The expert recommended that motorists take a few minutes before their next drive to make sure all their headlights work on full and low beam.
Mr Brooker said: “Put them on at least an hour before it actually gets dark – and whenever it is overcast enough to be dim.
“High fuel costs are no excuse to not use your lights, as the amount of fuel involved is extremely tiny.
“In built up areas you’ll mostly use your lights on low beams, but high beams are also key on country drives. Just make sure you dip them the moment you see another vehicle approaching.
“When you do drive past another car with their lights on make sure you don’t stare at them, as this could temporarily blind you. This is especially key if they haven’t dipped theirs to low beams.”
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The expert added: “If you have fog lights, turn them on in heavy fog.
“But make sure they are off when the fog lifts as they can dazzle people behind you – and could earn you penalty points if you’re pulled over.”
Extend the following distance in bad weather
If the weather is wet, drivers should double their following distance from at least two seconds to at least four seconds.
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They should also watch as the driver ahead of them passes a landmark like a pole or a bridge, then count how many seconds it takes them to reach the same point.
Mr Brooker said: “Four seconds should mean if the car ahead of you stops ahead of you in a hurry you have space to stop too.”
10 times slower in ice and snow
In icy or snowy conditions, it will be harder to stop, so drivers should extend their following distance even more and drive a lot slower.
In fact, motorists should do everything more slowly, as sudden braking or turning can cause them to lose traction and skid.
Mr Brooker added: “If you have to break, do it slowly. In a manual car, start in second gear instead of first, as this will give you more control.
“In an automatic, check your car’s manual to see if they have a recommended winter driving gear.”
Get the windshield clear
The expert recommended that drivers do not start driving until they have good visibility out of their windshield, which could take a few minutes.
He said: “This might just take you blasting the air conditioning for a while to demist the windshield.
“Or it might require you to get out a scraper and get any snow and ice off. While out of the car, make sure there isn’t any snow on the roof, as this could fall down and obscure your vision while driving.”
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