21/02/2022 Driving tips
Driving in wet weather is never pleasant, and can at times be quite scary if the rain is particularly heavy. Before you set off, ask yourself is the journey really necessary? Can you leave it until the worst of the rain has passed?
Before you head off, you should make sure that your windscreen wiper blades are in good working condition (both front and rear ones) and your tyre depth is a minimum of 3mm. Really these checks should be done on a regular basis and not just before you head out in adverse conditions!
So how do you drive in heavy rain?
There are some key elements to think about:
1). Watch your speed! Leave plenty of room between you and the car ahead (a gap of at least 4 seconds). Do not worry about cars behind you, if someone is too close, let them pass. It’s better to drive at a sensible speed and get to your destination safely.
2). Watch out for spray. In heavy rain, spray will come from other vehicles and may impact your vision. Be aware of this if you are behind another vehicle or passing one – reduce your speed if necessary.
3). Aquaplaning… every heard of this? Aquaplaning is when you drive through a puddle or large area of water on the road and your tyres lose contact with the road surface. If the steering suddenly feels light, take your foot off the accelerator and reduce your speed until you feel that you are in control again. DO NOT brake until you are under control!
4). Visibility. Rain can make it hard to see, especially if you’re driving on a motorway when there’s spray from other vehicles and water on the road. Always drive at an appropriate speed for the conditions. You may have to slow right down, but it’s better to be safe than to not reach your destination at all.
5). Loss of steering. If this happens, just ease off the accelerator gently and slow down. The water could be stopping the tyres from gripping the road.
6). Turn the headlights on. If visibility becomes a serious challenge during rain, turning your headlights on to help improve the visibility.
7). Be mindful. We often drive out of habit and don’t pay much attention to the road. But, when driving in the wet, it’s good practice to pay special attention to the roads and other vehicles. Make sure you keep both hands firmly on the steering wheel for better control.
8). Defog your windows. Don’t let your windows steam up - it’s easy to do when you’re focusing on driving! This can seriously impact your visibility.
Always… make sure you carry a charged mobile phone in case you encounter any difficulties during your journey.