Driving tips with the Institute of Advanced Motorists

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Whether you’re on the school-run or commuting late back from work, there’s every reason to be cautious behind the wheel this autumn.

The stopping distance in bad weather is at least double that required for driving on dry roads, but how many of us follow through with this is questionable. Braking harshly on slippery roads will inevitably cause a higher number of accidents.

To prevent this, make sure you decelerate and brake smoothly in a straight line so your vehicle does not swerve out of control.

Motorcyclists must take care when driving on slippery wet surfaces too. With 70 per cent of the stopping power situated to the front of motorbikes riders depend on using their front brakes to stay in control.

However, using a combination of both your front and back brakes will help you brake smoothly within a short distance.

The essentials

Don’t rely on a sun visor to keep the sun rays out of your eyes. Sun rays act as a major distraction so keeping a pair of sunglasses in the glove-compartment would be useful. A pair of driver sunglasses decreases the risk of accidents that occur because of low sun.

Don’t forget to keep a window scraper and de-icer in your car, because relying on your car heater is very time-consuming and damaging to your internal heating system. You can also save both time and energy by protecting your vehicle with a winter windscreen.

Car composition checks

Make sure you don’t forget to remove excess leaves from your windscreen. Check the wiper blades regularly to see if they are in good working condition, but if they squeal then it’s time to get a new pair.

Did you know if your car battery is more than three years old you may need a new one? You should check your battery’s performance regularly and if it is above the three year age bracket you will need a new one. Don’t forget to keep your battery clean and clear of spillages because this can lead to the battery overheating.

Take the time to check your headlight bulbs are working. You can do this by switching on your headlights to examine their brightness and strength. If you have dim power in one headlight make sure you get this replaced. You can keep spare bulbs in your car so you can replace them when necessary.