DRIV­ING DOC­TOR

Auto Express - - Inbox - Paul Ri­p­ley www.thedriv­ing­doc­tor.org @dr­paulrip­ley

FROSTY morn­ings can leave roads in a haz­ardous con­di­tion, and such dan­gers may be mis­judged as sur­faces and grip can vary greatly. Al­ways set out to pre­pare the ve­hi­cle so it’s free of all ice and snow, and en­sure all the lights and win­dows are clear and demisted.

Black ice is hard to spot on the road, and that’s why it’s of­ten re­ferred to as “in­vis­i­ble ice”. In th­ese con­di­tions, even 10mph may be un­safe, so judge speed ac­cord­ingly. When driv­ing at th­ese times al­ways take ex­tra care where the road is shaded by trees, bridges or build­ings, as th­ese may be the last ar­eas to thaw. And don’t for­get the low win­ter sun can of­ten blind you, so make early use of your vi­sor.

Be care­ful on hills, too. De­scend­ing an icy gra­di­ent at speed can be alarm­ing, and be aware that ABS doesn’t func­tion ef­fec­tively on slip­pery sur­faces. Cor­rect use of speed is ab­so­lutely key to stay­ing safe in such hos­tile weather con­di­tions. Stop­ping dis­tances can sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease, too, so en­hance your sep­a­ra­tion/ fol­low­ing dis­tances at least ten­fold.

In slip­pery con­di­tions you must re­duce speed to suit the road sur­face, traf­fic and weather, and be ul­tra-smooth with the car’s con­trols. Ad­vanced observation and plan­ning are also key to safety.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.