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A Safer Ride

A few good things to be reminded of… and maybe even a few tips you didn’t know about.

Driving safely on wet roads

  1. Always drive with two hands to stay in control.
  2. Slow down: tyres will have better traction and contact with the road.
  3. Increase your distance from other cars significantly.
  4. Stay vigilant of other drivers and dangers in your surroundings. Anticipate dangerous situations rather than waiting to react to them.
  5. Before turning: only brake in a straight line before the turn, and do so gradually. Do not brake during the turn as this can make you slip.
  6. While turning: slow down before turning, and maintain a consistent speed throughout the turn.
  7. While turning: don’t make any sudden steering wheel movements.
  8. Inspect your tyres monthly: make sure that your tyres have the proper amount of tread and tyre pressure.
  9. Choose tyres that offer maximum grip in wet weather.

Avoid sliding

What is it:

Your rear or front tyres won’t follow the direction of the steering.

How to regain control:

Gently ease up on the accelerator and slow down until the car regains traction.

How to avoid it:
tyre maintenance tips

  • Check the air pressure monthly.
  • Check the tread depth monthly – tyres need enough tread to evacuate water

Driving tip:

  • Drive slower in rain or on wet roads.

Braking in rain

  • On wet roads, braking distance is increased compared to dry roads.
  • Brake much earlier than you would on dry roads.
  • Double the distance between you and the car in front of you; you will need the
    extra time to stop safely.

What to do if you slide forward instead of turning

What is it:

Your front tyres lose traction before your rear tyres. This is called under-steering. Your car doesn’t follow the turn and slides straight off the road.

How to regain control:

Gently ease up on the accelerator and slow down until the car regains traction.

How to avoid it:
Tyre maintenance tips

  • Check the air pressure monthly.
  • Check the tread depth monthly.

Avoid spinning out from a turn

What is it:

Your rear tyres lose traction before your front tyres and you start to spin.

How to regain control:

  • If you have a front-wheel drive: accelerate, and if you need to, turn away from the turn.
  • If you have a rear-wheel drive: ease up on the accelerator and turn away from the skid.
  • If you have an all-wheel drive: turn in the same direction that you are skidding. Once you have regained traction, turn away.

How to avoid it:
Tyre maintenance tips

  • Check the air pressure monthly.
  • Check the tread depth monthly.
  • Have your tyres rotated regularly so that they wear evenly.
  • If you only purchase two new tyres, make sure that they are placed at the rear of the vehicle.

Driving tip:

  • Do not turn too sharply.

Avoid hydroplaning

What is it:

The tyres slip and do not respond to steering, braking or accelerating. The vehicle can even skid or spin.
It occurs when the water between your tyres and the road cannot be removed quickly enough. This layer of water builds up in front of the tyre until the pressure of the tyre exceeds the pressure of the tyre on the road. This is when the tyre loses contact with the road.

How to regain control:

  • Don’t hit the brakes suddenly.
  • Ease off the accelerator gently until you slow down and regain traction.

How to avoid it:
Tyre maintenance tips

  • Check your tyre pressure monthly. Tyre pressure below 30% of what is recommended greatly increases the risk of hydroplaning.
  • Check the tyre wear and tread depth monthly. The more tread depth you have, the more water your tyres can disperse.
  • Reduce your speed when approaching large puddles or standing water.

Pressure is key


Under-inflated tyres are one of the biggest causes of wasting fuel.

Tyre maintenance tips:

  • Check your tyre pressure monthly. Under-inflated tyres increase fuel consumption. Over-inflated tyres have less grip.

How to drive to reduce fuel consumption:

  • Drive at a constant speed, avoiding rapid stops and starts.
  • Change gears between 2,000 to 2,500 RPM to keep your engine speed as low as possible.
  • Use air-conditioning sparingly, especially in the city.
  • Keep windows closed at high speeds. On the motorway, even one open window increases fuel consumption.
  • Turn off the engine when the car is at a standstill, for example in a traffic jam or at a railway crossing, if it is safe to do so.
  • Drive light. Extra weight increases fuel consumption and polluting emissions.
    Remove unused accessories like roof racks and luggage carriers, which create aerodynamic drag.
  • Limit the use of electronics. Plug-in electrical appliances consume energy and fuel.

Want to learn more about sustainability and MICHELIN?

Choosing your tyres:

  • Choose tyres that have “fuel economy” as one of their main performance characteristics.
  • Tyres that have “traction” as their main characteristic will often have reduced fuel economy; tyres for heavier vehicles such as SUV and light trucks might not be the most fuel-efficient.

How to choose a tyre

    Want to learn more about sustainability and MICHELIN?

Safe driving on the motorway

  • Always observe motorway speed limits.
  • Activate your indicators well in advance before overtaking or changing lanes.
  • Don't turn suddenly or you may lose control of your car and roll over.
  • Take regular breaks. Don't drive while tyred.

Safe driving at night

  • Give your eyes some time to adjust to the light and shadows.
  • Tilt your rear view mirror slightly to reduce the dazzling effect of the car headlights behind you or change to night setting, if your rear view mirror has this option.
  • Don't look directly at the headlights from cars travelling in the opposite direction.
  • Don’t drive too fast: visibility is reduced at night, making it hard for you to see the road ahead.

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.

Safe driving in wind

  • Reduce your speed. Be prepared to stop at any time.
  • Close all windows. An open window can attract airborne particles like dust that can affect visibility.
  • Keep an eye out for people or debris being blown onto 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 that it’s tied down securely.
  • Be very careful passing high-sided vehicles especially in exposed areas or on bridges.

Safe driving in mountain areas

Before driving:

  • Prior to setting off, check your brakes; test them and check the brake fluid.
  • Carry the tools necessary in case you break down (for a full list see see Precautions and Emergencies).
  • Check the condition of your spare tyre: the appropriate pressure is especially important.
  • 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 travelling and when you are due back so they can alert the emergency services If you don't return on time.

While driving:

  • Sound your horn in advance if your view is blocked during cornering.
  • Drive carefully and slow down in turns, especially when your view is blocked.
  • Never speed or overtake on sharp bends where you may not see oncoming vehicles.

Safe driving in mud

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

  • When there’s heavy mud on the road or if you’re driving off-road, stop your vehicle and inspect the hardness and depth of the mud before driving through it.
  • Observe the tyre tracks of other vehicles to gauge the depth and consistency of the mud.
  • Determine the type of the 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.


  • It affects eyesight, which can make it more difficult to identify hazardous conditions.
  • Lowers concentration levels and extends reaction time.
  • Reduces hearing ability.

How to prevent driving fatigue:

  • Avoid driving at night if you can.
  • Take a minimum 15-minute break after driving for two hours and stretch.
  • Don’t eat too much.
  • Don’t stare at the middle line of the road all the time.
  • Keep the vehicle well ventilated and at a comfortable temperature.

Impaired states

Illness and medications can affect your driving

  • YouYour focus on the road can be severely reduced by pain or strong emotional situations.
  • If you are under medication and are unsure about its effects, consult your doctor or pharmacist before driving.

Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol

  • Do not consume any alcohol before you drive and be aware of the legal limits (they will differ from one country to the other).
  • Nominate a driver or hire a taxi when going out in a group.
  • You may still be over the legal limit the following morning.

General advice in emergency situations

  • Remain calm and do not panic; it will help you to make rational, calm decisions.
  • Steer before braking: try and brake in a straight line if possible.
  • If you are driving at high speed when the emergency occurs, try to avoid sudden steering since it may result in accidents that can otherwise be avoided. It may cause the vehicle to skid into a collision or even turn over.
  • You can steer far more effectively at slower speeds, and reduce the impact of the collision. So aim to slow down as much as possible.
  • You main priority is to save lives. If an accident is unavoidable, take priority actions that ensure the safety of human life first.
  • Turn on your hazard lights as soon as possible.
  • Make sure that you have emergency numbers and insurance numbers to hand at all times.

Regaining steering control

  • Release the accelerator pedal gently.
  • Steer the car in the direction where the back of the car is sliding.
  • Do not use the hand brake when the speed is very high.
  • Shift to a lower gear quickly and use the engine to slow down.
  • Turn on the hazard lights as quickly as you can.
  • Park in a safe spot and set up warning signs.
  • Apply the hand brake.

Brakes are not working

  • Hold the steering wheel more firmly.
  • If this happens before entering a turn, try and control the direction first.
  • Then try to slow down: shift down gears step by step to slow down.
  • Use the handbrake to stop the car if the speed is below 20 mph.
  • Turn on your hazard lights as soon as possible.
  • Use slopes or obstacles to help stop the car.
  • If your brake stops working when going up a slope, shift quickly to lower gear, then use the handbrake to park the car.
  • If available, park in an emergency parking lane, lay-by or hard shoulder. If not, then anywhere away from fast traffic.

How to avoid it:

  • Test brakes before your trip.
  • Always test your brakes when you first start down a steep hill or if you have driven through deep water.

Tyre blow out

  • A loud noise will surprise you but try to stay calm.
  • Always keep both hands on the steering wheel and grip firmly. This may save your life in case of a sudden rapid deflation.
  • Don’t slam on the brakes, keep your foot on the accelerator.
  • Keep the direction of the car as straight as possible.
  • Shift to a lower gear quickly, and use the engine to slow down.
  • Brake slowly to lower the speed.
  • Bring the car to a halt in a safe place.

Material to keep in the car

  • Tyre gauge to measure the pressure of your tyres
  • Spare tyre and jack
  • Motor oil (make sure it’s the right one for your vehicle)
  • Jump leads
  • Torch
  • Roadside flares
  • Blankets and gloves
  • First aid kit
  • Bottles of water, snack bars and non-perishable food