Thursday, 28 March 2013

Spring into action

Road safety charity the IAM is offering weekly motoring tips from Britain's top advanced driver, Peter Rodger. This week, he is advising on preparing yourself and your car for springtime driving.

  • April is well known for its showers. Stopping distances are increased on wet roads – allow at least twice as much time as usual to stop if the road is damp.
  • The clocks go forward this Easter weekend, so you could be driving to work in the morning in darker conditions than you are used to. Do a thorough check of all of your lights, and give them a spring clean too to maximise visibility.
  • Keep your screen wash topped up at all times. This way whether your car's dirty due to springtime downpours or covered in insects in the heat – you're prepared.
  • Country roads are a favourite at this time of year, but not only for car drivers. Be on alert for motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders, and give them all plenty of space.
  • Mud on the road means that farm vehicles or animals have been out and about. Look out for vehicles or animals emerging from field entrances. It's slippery stuff too!
  • Rabbits, hedgehogs and other animals are more likely to be seen in spring and summer. Don't swerve uncontrollably if an animal darts out in front of you - it's better to have a broken fog light or a dented bumper than a loss of control and a big crash.

Rodger said: "In spring you are more likely to see a variety of road users out and about, from bikers to pheasants. Preparing yourself to expect them and being on the lookout for vulnerable road users will ensure a more enjoyable drive and a safer environment for everyone."

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