Driving Guide

Eight Tips for Safe Driving Under Difficult Conditions

Michelin 18 May 2010

Eight tips for safe driving in difficult conditions.

1. Safe Driving at Night

Adjust Eyesight to light and shade

When driving at night, your eyes need some time to adjust to the light and shade. Lights on the road may also affect your vision.
  • Tilt your rear view mirror slightly to reduce the dazzling effect of the car headlights behind you.
  • Don't look directly at the headlights from cars travelling in the opposite direction.


Night driving

Don’t drive too fast at night

  • Visibility is reduced at night, making it hard for you to see the road ahead.

2. Safe Driving in the Rain

Poor visibility during stormy weather

Roads get slippery and visibility is reduced in rain.

  • Slow down.
  • Keep a safe braking distance from the cars in front of you.
  • Use dipped headlights.

3. Safe Driving in Fog

Visibility deteriorates in fog.

  • Turn on your dipped headlight and fog lights.
  • Reduce your speed and refrain from overtaking.
  • Leave enough time to react in an emergency by keeping a safe braking distance from the vehicle in front of you.

Mountain ice/fog

4. Safe Driving on Ice and Snow

  • Move away steadily. Don’t accelerate too hard.
  • Drive slowly.
  • Keep a safe braking distance from the vehicle in front of you.
  • Keep to a moderate speed and use lower gears to control your vehicle down a slope.
  • Use your brakes and accelerator gently to avoid skidding or slipping.

It's important to prepare properly for driving in icy or snowy conditions.

  • Carry a shovel and safety triangle. Bring along snow chains if necessary.

5. Safe Driving in Mud

Simple ways to decide if you can get across the mud:

When there’s heavy mud on the road, or you’re driving off road, stop your vehicle and inspect the hardness and depth of the mud before driving through it.

  • Observe tyre tracks of other vehicles to gauge the depth and consistency of the mud.
  • Decide the type of vehicles that have left the track from the sizes and widths of the track. Use that information as a reference to decide if you can get across.

6. Safe Driving in Wind

  • Reduce your speed. Be prepared to stop at any time.
  • Keep an eye out for people or debris being blown on to the road.
  • Be aware that people may not hear your horn during strong windy conditions.
  • If you’re carrying cargo on your vehicle, make sure it’s tied down securely.
  • Close all windows. An open window can attract airborne particles like dust that can affect visibility.
  • Be very careful passing high - sided vehicles especially in exposed areas or on bridges.

7. Safe Driving in Mountain Areas

Before driving in mountain areas, you should:

  • Check your brakes prior to setting off.
  • Carry all the tools necessary in case you break down.
  • Check the condition of your spare tyre.
  • Carry extra food, appropriate clothing and emergency aids.
  • Check the weather and road conditions in the mountain area and choose your route wisely.
  • Tell at least one other person where and when you are traveling and when your are due back. If you don't return on time they can alert the emergency services of necessary.

When driving in mountain areas, you should:

  • Drive carefully and slow down on bends, especially when your view is blocked.
  • Blow your horn in advance if your view is blocked during cornering.
  • Never speed or overtake on blind bends.

8. Safe Driving on Motorways

  • Always observe motorway speed limits.
  • Use on your indicator well in advance before overtaking or changing lanes.
  • Don't steer suddenly or your may lose control of your car and roll over.
  • Take regular breaks. Don't drive while tired.
  • car
  • 4x4 / suv
  • van / motorhome