With the cold weather on the way, driver training specialists, IAM Drive & Survive are offering weekly tips to motorists on how to stay safe on the roads this winter.
Simon Elstow, head of training at IAM Drive & Survive is advising drivers this week in how to brake properly as stopping distances can be affected by bad weather conditions such as snow and ice.
Elstow has suggested six points below to help drivers to get a firm grip on the roads when braking and help prevent accidents:
Braking in a straight line is the best possible way to avoid an accident whereas braking whilst travelling on a bend can unbalance the car, so it’s important to make sure your speed and gear is correct beforehand.
Planning your route carefully and always keeping a close eye on the traffic ahead can help you to avoid accidents. It’s well worth keeping a close eye on the traffic conditions at all times so you can avoid braking too quickly, or braking at all.
Don’t underestimate the time it will take you to stop suddenly if you had to. At 30mph it will take 23 metres which equates to five car lengths, this increases to 53 metres at 50mph and at 70mpg it would take 96 metres or 21 car lengths to stop.
Keep your distance from other cars, and always leave two second between yourself and the car in front. You can do this by watching the car ahead drive past a significant landmark such as a tree or lamppost then counting how long it takes you to reach the same land mark. The distance should be at least doubled in wet conditions and quadrupled in snow and ice.
Consider winter tyres for extra grip during the cold months as they maintain grip on the roads better than normal tyres which start to stiffen below 7 degrees.
Elstow said: “Braking is a skill that needs practice – do it properly and you’ll improve fuel consumption and journey times. If you prepare in time, and look further down the road, you can avoid stopping as often – for example, look ahead and plan to meet a gap in the traffic on a roundabout.”
IAM has recently launched a new website which is specifically aimed at helping drivers stay safe this winter. The website entitled drivingadvice.org.uk offers regular traffic updates, weather forecasts and tips on how to handle different weather conditions such as rain, snow, ice, fog and wind.