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Driving Advice

It is up to each one of us to be responsible drivers and cyclists on the roads and to be careful pedestrians

Driving in the rain

  • When the road's wet, it can take twice as long to stop. So it makes sense to slow down and maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front.
  • If your vehicle loses its grip, or "aquaplanes" on surface water take your foot off the accelerator to slow down.
  • Do not brake or steer suddenly because you have no control of the steering or brakes on the roads.
  • Plan your journeys.

Driving in Floods

  • Try to avoid driving through surface water as you might flood your engine. Avoid the deepest water which is usually nearest the kerb.
  • If you have to drive through floods, drive slowly using first gear and try to keep the engine revving at a high rate. Move forward continuously to avoid stalling the engine. If driving an automatic vehicle, engage and hold in a low gear.
  • Check your mirrors and test your brakes after driving through water, to make sure they are still working properly.
  • Take extra care on the roads and plan your journeys

Driving in Sun

  • Dazzle from sun can be dangerous. Keep a pair of sunglasses (prescription if needed) in the vehicle all year round and make sure you keep your windscreen clean.
  • Wear your sunglasses in bright sunshine, especially if the sun is low (even in the winter) or reflecting off a wet road.

Driving in Fog

  • Drive very slowly using dipped headlights so other drivers can see you.
  • If it is really foggy (less than 100m visibility), then switch your fog lights and rear high-intensity lights on. Remember to switch them off when visibility improves.
  • Do not hang on the tail-lights of the vehicle in front. This gives you a false sense of security and means you may be driving too close.
  • Fog is often patchy so try not to speed up as visibility improves. You could suddenly find yourself back in thick fog further up the road.

Darker evenings and mornings

  • Switch on lights as soon as it starts to get dark.
  • In urban areas use dipped headlights. Use full beam on other roads at night but dip them when there is someone in front or coming towards you.
  • Be aware that pedestrians are harder to spot in the dark and may not be visible until they are very close.
In particular, take care when driving near schools and in residential areas, where children may be walking and cycling.
Do not use your mobile telephone when driving.

These road users are very vulnerable as they are both hard to spot in the dark and may act unpredictably. Slow right down to 20mph. If you hit someone at this speed they have more than a nine in ten chance of survival, compared with about a 50/50 chance at 30mph

It is up to each one of us to be responsible drivers on the roads and given the changeable weather in Scotland it is best to be prepared at all times.

Road Safety Scotland provides a host of information on road safety and has recently published advice on driving in general and on winter driving in Scotland.  The driving advice has been translated into various languages to improve accessibility e.g. Polish, Russian, Lithuanian and French.

If you would like to view the advice given by Road Safety Scotland or access any of the translations, you can visit the link here Road Safety Scotland website.