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Safe Winter Driving - Driving in Snow, Ice and Fog

Winter weather can make driving dangerous. When the weather turns bad, and snow, ice or fog causes havoc on our roads, the often-quoted advice is simple - stay at home.

This maybe wise, but in reality it is not always practical. With a little common sense however, the dangers of driving during winter months can be kept to a minimum.

Firstly, as autumn draws to a close and the winter weather approaches give your car a little care and attention.

As the winter progresses on you should:

Your Car's Windscreen

If the windscreen is covered by snow or ice you must clear it completely before driving off. Failing to do so is illegal and can get you charged for careless driving, which can result in points being added to your licence and you receiving fine.

If you leave your car with the engine running in order to heat up the windscreen make sure your car isn't on the public highway, because if it is, you will be committing an offence. Although leaving a car running on a private driveway isn't breaking the law, it is a prime target for thieves - over 2000 vehicles are stolen each year this way. If this happens to you, don't expect your insurance company to pay out either, because they won't.

Don't pour hot water over the windscreen to melt the ice or snow, as this can cause the glass to crack. Let the car warm up and melt the snow or ice, scrape it off or use a de-icer.

Snowfall and ice covered roads can render driving almost impossible.

If you get caught in such conditions follow these rules.

If You Get Stuck In The Snow

Driving In Fog

driving in fog
Fog limits visibility

The award for most dangerous weather condition goes to fog. It takes a truly foolish driver to drive fast in fog.

When fog is at its worst, you should park your car somewhere safe and wait for it to pass. However, if you find yourself driving in fog:

If the fog suddenly clears don't relax and think you're out of danger. Fog is usually quite patchy, going from a light mist to a thick cloud in a matter of metres. You could turn a corner only to find yourself in a dense blanket of fog.

Author Richard Jenkins

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