Winter driving tips from former Met head of driving school.

The Met has today launched its #ReadyfortheRoad initiative to encourage safer winter driving.

The Havering Daily spoke to the former Head of the Met’s driving school and Traffic Officer Mark Lewis.

Mark is an advanced driving instructor and an authority on driving. Today he shared with us three key factors that are vital in winter driving.

Mark said:

There are three key factors that are vital when driving in the winter.

  1. Seeing
  2. Being Seen
  3. Conditions of your vehicle.

Seeing clearly is vital, especially in the winter when the conditions can often be difficult due to the bad weather.

When there is salt on the road, or ice or frost make sure that your windscreen is clear. This is a very important factor. Don’t forget the inside of your window. Use your air conditioning in the car to demist your windows. Get a good windscreen wash, one that is good enough for the low temperatures we face in winter and often keep a rag in your car to help you.

“The second factor is being seen. Make sure that your lights, all your vehicle lights are clear and clearly visible. Do this before you leave home and start your journey. Also, check your automatic lights, often they don’t always come on when the daylight drops in the winter and it gets darker earlier.

The third factor that is crucial in winter driving is to check the conditions of your tyres.

Make sure your tyres have 1.6mm of treat which is the legal limit. I often recommend more than that but that is the legal limit.

Remember that you are relying on your tyres to keep you safe, they are the ones that have contact with the ground so always make sure that they have the right amount of tyre pressure. Hopefully your vehicle will have been serviced before the winter so it is prepared for the tougher conditions. If it isn’t, then go and get yourself a winter check.

When the weather conditions become bad and the roads can often be treacherous then ask yourself, do I need to go out? If you do then always bring your mobile phone with you and leave it in your glove compartment. Leave it turned on so it is ready to use in an emergency.”

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