Drivers given extreme weather driving advice

12.00 | 6 January 2014 | | 2 comments

A number of organisations have published information to help drivers deal with the extreme weather currently being experienced across the UK.

The IAM has published advice about how to drive in strong winds, in which it reminds drivers that wind “can unsettle a car and even change direction of travel”. The IAM’s advice includes gripping the steering wheel firmly and being ready for the effects of the wind on other road users, particularly motorcyclists and flat-sided vehicles like lorries.

The IAM also suggests trying to find a more sheltered route with less exposure to the weather and less risk of fallen trees.

The Telegraph is carrying an article by Andrew English which gives advice on how to drive through floods.

The article suggests that drivers should try to avoid having to drive through water “but if you can’t, you should make sure there is not more than six inches of standing water or four inches of moving water. It also suggests that “parking up and watching other cars and trucks negotiate the flood can be a good way of checking to see how deep it is”.

The advice also suggests “staying on the crown of the road and crawling through the water very slowly in first gear”, and “keeping the engine revs up by slipping the clutch if necessary, to avoid water entering the exhaust pipe”.

The Highways Agency has published information to help road users be prepared for bad weather. The HA reminds drivers that “it takes twice as long to stop when the road is wet, so leave plenty of space between vehicles, and slow down if hail, heavy rain or spray is making it difficult to see the road ahead”.

The HA also says that “high winds can affect any section of road, especially exposed roads and high bridges” and encourages drivers to be “alert for sudden gusts of wind, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, and motorbikes plenty of space”.



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    One thing not mentioned is that if driving through a ford or other flooded road, don’t blindly follow the vehicle in front nose to tail ‘cos if they get stuck, then so will you! Wait until the flooded area is clear before trying to drive through yourself.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    Do the IAM really advise “gripping the steering wheel firmly” at any time, let alone when conditions are potentially slippery? Drivers tend to get a better feel for the balance and available grip with a lighter touch.

    Dave Finney, Slough
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