ESSEX Police has released some tips about driving in wet, icy or snowy weather to help keep drivers safe this autumn and winter.
1. Driving in heavy rain
Check your brakes, tyres, lights, batteries, windscreens and wipers are in good condition and well maintained. It is particularly important to ensure the pressure and tread on your tyres are OK before setting off.
Adjust your wiper speed and make sure your wiper blades are kept clean and free from defects.
Ensure there is proper de-icer fluid in the screen wash bottle and make sure the bottle is full.
If you break down don’t be tempted to prop the bonnet open while waiting for assistance. The engine will be more difficult to start if the electrics are soaked.
2. Keep informed
Check the forecasts before travelling and where possible consider taking alternative routes to avoid bad weather.
Listen to the radio for the latest news about accidents or hazards that may interfere with your journey.
3. Driving in snow
Make sure all your car lights are working and you have no failed bulbs. Ensure that dirt, salt and snow is cleared away from light fixtures.
Always ensure all windows are fully cleared of snow, frost and condensation before setting off on a journey – it is illegal to drive with obscured vision.
Also clear snow from the top of the car as this can fall down and obscure your windscreen while you are driving.
Keep windscreen washer fluid topped up as windscreens quickly become dirty from traffic spray and salt from the roads.
Make sure you have sufficient fuel for your journey. Keep the fuel tank topped up.
Carry warm waterproof clothing, food, water and a torch in your vehicle in case weather conditions mean you have to stop
Take a mobile telephone with you and make sure it is fully charged. Carry a mobile charger in the car.
Be mindful that even if it has stopped snowing, low temperatures could cause snow to turn to ice resulting in hazardous road conditions.
If you get stuck in the snow stay with your car. In an emergency, if you do need to leave it, park it out of a main traffic route, where it won’t cause an obstruction when conditions ease.
4. Don’t rush
Give yourself extra time for your journey and drive at a constant speed. Accept your journey will take longer and don’t take risks.
5. Driving in fog
When driving in fog use dipped headlights so other drivers can see you. Fog lights can be used when visibility is seriously reduced to less than 100 metres but they must be switched off if visibility improves.
Maintain a safe distance behind the vehicle in front, and be aware of other drivers who don’t use headlights, as they will be harder to see.
Familiarise yourself with your front and rear fog lights – know how to switch them on and off
Avoid tailing the rear lights of the vehicle in front. Getting too close can give you a false sense of security.
Try to avoid speeding up too quickly, even if the fog seems to be clearing. You could find yourself in the middle of dense fog.
If navigating a strange city is a daunting task, then driving in a different country is a complete pain in the ass. Strange road signs, speedometers that only work in kilometers, and steering wheel alignments that require you to shift with your left hand all stack up to throw you for a loop at a moment’s notice. And then there are the traffic laws, which can be just as twisted and confusing as the roadways themselves.
Last year, The Huffington Post did a brief report on some of the most bizarre driving laws from around the world, and while we found this list to be both surprising and amusing, we couldn’t help but feel that something was missing. So to give readers a better grasp as to how wacky things really are out there, we decided to find some even weirder laws that we could add to the list.
After a bit of digging, we turned up a handful of winners we had never heard of before — many of them came to us courtesy of the Autos section of Yahoo and the U.K. division of AOL, which also had some interesting entries. All of this information gave us pause as we wondered how in the hell any of these laws actually came to pass, because we know that at some point some jackass thought it would be a good idea to tie his goat to the luggage rack before heading into town.
But we don’t just want to focus on the extreme; we want to highlight the weird as well, because those are the laws that are more likely to affect the rest of us. So in order to offer a more streamlined cheat sheet, we have opted to break this list down by country of origin. Drive safe!
We begin our list with a simple but very strictly enforced law from Thailand. According to Yahoo, this popular Asian destination requires drivers (male or female) to keep their shirts on, regardless of how hot it is or what kind of car, bus, or “tuk-tuk cab” they may be driving. All we want to know is: If we aren’t driving, can we pull off our shirt and work on our tan?
2. South Africa
While South Africa only has one car for every five citizens, it still feels that it needs to have some laws in place to protect its livestock. Yahoo says it has a law in place stating “the driver of a vehicle on a public road shall stop such vehicle at the request or on the signal of a person leading or driving any bovine animal, horse, ass, mule, sheep, goat, pig, or ostrich on such road.” Fines can run up to $500 for anyone who doesn’t yield appropriately.