Safe driving tips in extreme weather conditions

Even in the UK the weather can get quite extreme sometimes and being caught on the roads in the midst of a storm is not an ideal situation. We've highlighted some key tips on getting from A to B safely when the road becomes a riskier place to drive.

Tips on driving safely in extreme weather conditions

Slow down and allow extra stopping distance between your car and the car in front of you.

Even moderate rain can reduce your ability to see and be seen. A good rule of thumb is ‘if it’s time for your wipers, it’s time to slow down’.

If heavy downpours are expected, avoid starting your journey until it clears.

Use dipped headlights if visibility is seriously reduced.

Gusts of wind can unsettle vehicles – grip your steering wheel firmly with both hands. This is particularly important when planning to overtake.

Keep an eye out for gaps between trees, buildings or bridges over a river or railway – these are some of the places you are more likely to be exposed to side winds.

Ensure that you maintain enough room either side of your vehicle so you can account for it being blown sideways.

Roads will be more slippery than usual in wet weather – be sure to give yourself more time to react when approaching a hazard. Increase your following gap to at least four seconds from the moving traffic in front.

Keep your eyes on the road at all times as spray from other vehicles can suddenly reduce your visibility. Remember that it affects others too, so anticipate their actions and be prepared.

Navigating your route in a storm

If you can, choose main roads, where you are less likely to be exposed to fallen branches, debris and flooding.

If you encounter floods on your journey, it’s important to approach them safely.

Avoid driving through more than six inches of standing water, or more than four inches of moving water.

Turning around and finding a different route is a better option than being stranded.