Motorists have been told how to avoid the dangers brutal winter weather can bring to the roads what to do when driving in dark and cold conditions.
Experts at Lease Van have revealed their top tips for staying safe and navigating nine common hazards in harsh winter weather.
Replacing wiper blades and checking fog lights, there are several inspections that all drivers should make throughout the colder months.
The motoring experts have also identified other potential dangers such as driving in the dark and animals on the road, and have offered their advice on how to navigate these hazards.
Tim Alcock from Lease Van said: “Now the temperatures have started to drop and the daylight hours have begun to get shorter, we are urging all drivers to watch out for these hazards.
“Motorists should ensure their vehicle is in top condition – checking the fog lights are working, wiper blades are clean and antifreeze levels are correct will help drivers stay safe on the roads.
“There are other dangers which many Brits will not be used to after the spell of warmer months – such as driving through dark nights, slippery leaves, icy roads, and foggy conditions.
“Drivers should stay alert at all times and stay aware of any of the potential hazards.”
Here are Lease Van’s nine autumnal hazards to watch out for:
1. Wet leaves
As the trees start to drop their leaves, combined with the damp conditions, a pile of wet leaves on the road can be just as dangerous as a big puddle. Ensure to reduce your speed before driving over them, or if safe to do so, carefully swerve the pile altogether. Be mindful that a pothole may be hiding underneath.
2. Cold mornings
The onset of winter months comes a sudden dip in temperatures. Make sure that the antifreeze levels in your vehicle are checked regularly, and pack the necessary equipment to scrape your windscreen so you can fully see the road ahead before setting off.
3. Wet weather
Sudden showers and heavy downpours of rain can be seriously dangerous to drive through, especially if drivers weren’t expecting the bad conditions. Rainwater mixed with oil, dirt and grime on the roads can make the tarmac even more slippery. Watch out for big puddles, slow down and remember in wet conditions the stopping distance is at least double.
4. Driving in the dark
As the daylight hours are quickly reducing, getting the car ready for night-time driving is essential. Check the bulbs in your headlights and taillights regularly, keeping an eye out for other vulnerable road users and be mindful of your speed.
If the fog is too heavy it’s best to avoid getting behind the wheel. But if you’re caught out by a quick falling fog, keep the speed low, use dipped lights and fog lights as opposed to full beam lights. Ensure to leave plenty of room between you and the vehicle in front.
6. Icy roads
Although ice on the roads may be more of an issue in the winter months, some winter mornings can be cold and icy. Avoid braking suddenly or taking corners with speed – be gentle with the acceleration and any manoeuvres.
7. Wiper blades
It’s time to check your wiper blades after months of rare use throughout the summer. If they are squeaky when they move across the windscreen then replace the blades to ensure they will be working properly when it inevitably rains.
8. Animals darting out
If you see a deer or any other animal on the road, if possible slow down and then continue as usual. But if a deer appears out of nowhere, the safest option is to avoid over-swerving and hit it with full control of the vehicle.
9. Low sun dazzle
Low sun at this time of year can make it difficult to see the road ahead. Ensure you have a pair of sunglasses kept in the car, use sun visors and keep the windscreen clean from water marks, bugs and grime. If you are being dazzled from the sun, slow down and keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front.
To find out more about driving during brutal winter weather, head over to leasecar.uk/van-leasing.