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Top tips for driving in poor weather conditions


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Having been hit by the worst floods for decades, and with a cold snap expected to hit the UK in the coming weeks, many of us will continue to face dangerous driving conditions.

To help keep you safe on the road, Michelin has issued advice on maintaining and handling cars in poor weather.

Read these tips and stay safe out there...

1. Avoid driving in flooded areas. If you have to drive through flooded land, drive slowly, use a low gear and keep the engine revving at a high rate. Move forward continuously to avoid stalling. The deepest water is usually near the kerb.

2. Always test your brakes after driving through water or a flooded area to check they are working. Brakes should be tested by touching the brake pedal very lightly at a very low speed.

3. Your tyres are the only part of the vehicle in contact with the road, so it’s vital they are in good condition. Check that they have adequate tread (1.6mm is the minimum tread legally required for cars) and look for any damage such as cuts, splits, bald patches or sidewall bulges. It’s also worth considering investing in cold weather tyres as they offer shorter stopping distances on snow and ice compared to normal tyres.

4. Pack some essential items such as blankets, a shovel to remove snow, sturdy walking boots, and food and drink in case conditions take a turn for the worse.

5. Download the Michelin navigate app to keep you up-to-date with real-time traffic information and any speed limits or speed restrictions which can be particularly common in poor weather conditions.

6. Wet snow and heavy rain can cause vehicles to aquaplane. If this happens take your foot off the accelerator and gently start to slow down. Avoid braking or steering suddenly as this can make things worse.

7. As rain falls it mixes with oil and dirt on the road to create slippy conditions that can cause skidding. Drive at a slower speed and keep a safe distance from the car in front to lower the risk of an accident.

8. It can take twice as long to stop in wet weather so keep a safe distance from the car in front.

9. Make sure you perform regular checks on oil, windscreen wipers, screenwash, tyres, and lights before setting off on a journey. A new App launched by Michelin, called MyCar, helps motorists prepare their vehicle for a journey by offering a tyre and vehicle service guide, and weather alerts to help plan your journey.  

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