Drivers know how important it is to be alert to the changing circumstances around them as they drive. While we recognise there are lots of reasons why accidents may occur, not everyone realises the weather can be a contributory factor. So, what is the worst weather for driving in, and are you aware of what to do if you were faced with such conditions?
Driving in wintry weather
Surely wintry weather must be the worst weather for driving in. Many would agree, but since we are prepared for it to be more challenging, we tend to take greater care anyway. Some people may even avoid driving in this weather, when there is ice on the roads and a chance of snow, too.
But with that said, this can be the worst weather for driving in, because there are many hazards. For example, black ice is so-called because you cannot see it easily. The road ahead may look clear and yet you could find yourself sliding out of control very quickly indeed. To try and prevent this (and assuming you must make your journey in the first place), remember to keep your distance from vehicles in front. Braking distances will be a lot longer than on a normal road surface. Keeping your speed down is vital, as is using a higher gear. This could help you gain more traction if the ice is bad.
The condition of your vehicle is very important in helping you manage the risks associated with driving in bad weather. The worst weather for driving for many people would be snow, but it is surprising how many drivers don’t bother to clear the snow from their car before they set off. Make sure you not only clear every window, but you also clear the snow from the roof. As your car warms up, the snow will start to melt, and braking could lead it to slide off onto your windscreen – and you will suddenly be driving blind. Not a safe position to be in.
Driving in windy weather
Few people would automatically think of windy weather as the worst weather for driving in. however, if you have ever driven in a gale, or been hit by a sudden gust of wind when you didn’t expect it, you will know how frightening this can be.
Here are some tips on how to cope if you do need to drive in high winds:
- Always keep both hands firmly on the steering wheel – it will make it easier to stay in control of your vehicle
- Stay under the speed limit – you should do this anyway, but you will benefit from dropping your speed further in windy weather, as the faster you are going, the easier it is to be blown off course
- Be ready to encounter fallen trees and other debris in the road
- Be aware of high winds on bridges and on other exposed roads
Again, if you can cancel or postpone your journey, do so. The worst weather for driving in, whatever time of year it is, would surely be weather you are caught out in that makes your journey more dangerous than it would otherwise be.
Driving in hot weather
Driving on a nice, sunny day sounds like bliss, doesn’t it? But the hotter it gets, the more unpleasant it can get when you are driving. If you are going to drive, be prepared. The Met Office has released useful information on what to do before and during a heatwave, and some of this advice applies to drivers, too.
For instance, make sure you take plenty of fluids with you, ideally plain water. If you expect to get stuck in a traffic jam, you can make sure you have lots of water (and some light snacks too) that will last for however long you are there for. Use your air conditioning if you have it, or keep the windows down to allow fresh air into the car.
You may not think of applying sun cream if you are in your car. But you can easily be burned through the windows, so make sure you apply it before you drive. Getting sunburned is always painful, and you don’t want to be driving if you are caught out like this.
You should also use your sun visor to avoid being dazzled by the sun, particularly early in the morning and in late afternoon or early evening.
Have you had an accident in the worst weather?
In conclusion, the worst weather to drive in would be weather you are unprepared for. If you can avoid driving in extreme weather conditions then do so – it is always much safer to wait until it is safe to drive again. Not doing this could mean the odds of being in an accident are raised. From preparing your vehicle in winter, to taking additional care on the roads, there are many things you can do to help with road safety.
If it’s too late to avoid this because you’ve already been caught in an accident, don’t worry. You are in the right place to find out if a no-win, no-fee* claim could be made on your behalf. Accident Advice Helpline has spoken to many people who have experienced the worst weather for driving in, and we could help you if you’ve been through a similar experience and someone else was at fault.
Call us today
To find out more, call now on 0800 689 0500, or use your mobile to call us on 0333 500 0993. When you do, you can tell us more about your accident and how it occurred. If you were injured, and someone else is proven to have been at fault, we can help you seek compensation. After all, the worst weather for driving in may be weather that causes you to have an injury. While you may do all you can to avoid being hurt, you cannot always avoid other people being reckless when the weather is bad.