WITH temperatures plummeting across the UK in recent days and icy conditions making an appearance, motorists are being urged to take some simple driving tips to stay as safe as possible.
The advice is coming from tyre company Bridgestone whose managing director Robin Shaw says that with a marked drop in temperatures now being felt,drivers need to take extra care.
He said: "Driving in winter conditions is something everyone must prepare for. It is not only about having the right tyres; the driver's behaviour is also essential in these conditions as he or she needs to understand and adapt to different winter hazards.
"It is therefore crucial to not only prepare our vehicles, but also ourselves when the weather gets cold."
Some of the tips include checking tyre pressure and tread depth, after surveys carried out by road safety organisation Tyresafe revealed that more than 27per cent of tyres were already illegal when they were eventually replaced by motorists.
That equates to more than one-in-four of the 37 million cars and light commercial vehicles on the UK's roads being driven with a tyre that could cost its driver a Â£2,500 fine and three penalty points, an MOT failure - or worse.
Bridgestone is urging all drivers to take the following steps:
1. Periodically check traction, or available grip, when driving in challenging conditions. Road conditions can change drastically in a short period of time or distance in winter. Apply the brakes with moderate pressure to determine the available grip and adaptyour driving, if needed, to respond to ever-changing road conditions.
2. Under-inflated tyres not only compromise motorists' ability to brake and manoeuvre safely, but they also consume more fuel and wear out faster. Information on the recommended tyre pressure can be found in the operating manual, on the inside of the door pillars or under your fuel cap.
3, The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm. Insert a 20p coin in the tread; if you can see the border, it's time to change the tyres.
4. Maximise available grip by separating driving manoeuvres when negotiating a curve. Brake to an appropriate speed while travelling in a straight line prior to a curve. This allows you to use all the available grip for negotiating the curve. Accelerate gradually when you are able to straighten the steering wheel at the exit of the turn.
5. Avoid cruise control in wet, icy or snowy conditions. Maintain control of acceleration and deceleration at all times.
6. Avoid driving in bad weather conditions. Your safety comes first.
The company is also suggesting that motorists fit their vehicles with an all-weather tyre that gives added grip in poor conditions.