If it is raining, icy, snowing or foggy, conditions on the road will be more dangerous. You need to drive with extra care.

Tips for driving in bad weather

Check your vehicle

Effective brakes, tyres, windscreen wipers, lights and steering are even more crucial in wet weather. Check your vehicle regularly to make sure they are all in good condition.

Adjust your driving

Wet, frosty or icy roads can be very slippery. You need to increase your following distance because it takes longer to stop on a slippery surface. You should increase your following distance from four seconds to six seconds. Roads are extra slippery just after the rain commences, and will remain so until the rain has washed any oil off the road.

Safe following distances

Watch your visibility

Visibility (how far you can see) can be seriously reduced by rain, snow or fog. This can increase the risk of a crash. To improve visibility, keep all windows and mirrors clean. Don’t let windows fog up – turn on the demister or open a window.

Brake carefully

If your vehicle has anti-lock braking system (ABS) brakes, never pump the brakes in an emergency. Keep the pedal pressed down hard and steer out of trouble. Don’t become over-confident in your driving just because your vehicle has ABS brakes.

If your vehicle doesn’t have ABS brakes, don’t brake too hard when it is wet. You may go into a dangerous skid. Instead, pump the brakes gently. If your vehicle has auxiliary brakes read the instructions. Don’t operate them at full power in slippery conditions.

Reduce speed

On a wet road, driving at the speed limit could be too fast for the conditions. You can lose control very easily in wet weather, especially if you have to brake suddenly, so slow down.

Dip your headlights in fog

If you drive with your headlights on full beam in fog, the light will just reflect back on you. Dip your lights – it will be much easier to see.

Don’t just turn your park lights on. They are hard for oncoming drivers to see and do little to improve your vision.

You can use front fog lights when driving in fog. These have a wide, low beam and produce either a white or yellow light.

Rear fog lights, which produce a high-intensity red light, should only be used when visibility is very bad. In normal conditions, they can dazzle drivers following you.

Fog lights should be switched off as driving conditions improve.