posted 7 years ago

IAM Driving Tips – Braking

Braking can be harder than it sounds, particularly if the weather is rougher than a piece of sandpaper.

Braking can be harder than it sounds, particularly if the weather is rougher than a piece of sandpaper. As such, Institute of Advanced Motorists Driver Training Specialist, Simon Elstow, has some straightforward tips to help motorists cope this winter. His advice is:

- Brake in a straight line where possible. Braking while going through a bend unbalances the car, so get your speed and gear right beforehand.

- Brake smoothly. If you plan your driving and keep an eye on the traffic conditions ahead you can avoid braking harshly – in many cases you may avoid braking altogether.

- Don’t underestimate how long it actually takes you to stop. At 30mph, you will take 23 metres or five car lengths to stop, at 50 this doubles to 53m (12 car lengths), and at 70 it takes 96m, or 21 car lengths.

- Always leave at least two seconds between yourself and the car in front. Watch the car in front go past a lamp post or tree, and count how long it takes you to reach it.

- As a guide, you should at least double this in the wet, and quadruple it in snow and ice.

- For extra winter grip, consider winter tyres. These maintain grip well below that of normal tyres, which start to stiffen below 7ºc.

Mr Elstow said: “Braking is a skill that needs practice – do it properly and you’ll improve fuel consumption and journey times. If you prepare in time, and look further down the road, you can avoid stopping as often – for example, look ahead and plan to meet a gap in the traffic on a roundabout.”

Good tips in the IAM artical but please push the lighting regs and ask people to use lights correctly and get them adjusted as this helps on a trip of 30 miles I counted 79 car contravening them and 2 without a light on the rear at all.

Common sense, that's what needed is a light touch, pity more to adhere to it! Got my winter tyres, feel more comfortable, only £250, reasonable as I'll have them for a few years plus! Cheers B Cowell PW supplied by Black Circle, been using them for 6 years

Good tips well thought out , I am a professional driver and find these tips easy and straight forward just what is needed ,driving is a priviallge not a right .

And just invest in a pair of SNOW SOCKS ! You never know when they will be vital to get you going or out of a 'I'm stuck' situation.

It would be also advisable to double the distance between cars at night,'specially on misty conditions.

i live 35 miles from work and know the journey really well, if i concentrate then i can set of from work/home to work/home and never actually stop the car untill parked at home or at work. not proffesionaly trained just like to keep my eyes open, brain on and my (wallet closed for petrol) lol.