The weather of winter 2013/14 hasn’t been very kind to us so far. Heavy rain has fallen up and down the country in some of the worst storms that the UK has seen for many years. This has resulted in flooded roads and hazardous driving conditions. Mother Nature doesn’t seem quite ready to let up on us yet this year either as there’s plenty more rain forecast for the coming weeks.
In this blog we’ll explain a few problems that wet weather can present you with when driving and how to drive safely in the rain.
If you’re about to set off on a long journey then you should always check the weather forecast first to give you some idea of what to expect. If the weather’s looking less than pleasant then think about how essential your journey is, if it’s possible to delay your trip until the rain has subsided then this is always the safest option.
Here are a few things to do before you set off:
- Allow extra time to reach your destination
- Plan your journey to avoid areas that are prone to flooding
- Check that your windscreen wipers are working
- Make sure you take your mobile phone with you
Heavy rain can greatly reduce visibility and stopping distances and flooded roads can cause damage to your vehicle. When driving in very rainy conditions the most important thing to remember is to drive slower and with more caution than you would normally. Read our tips for driving in heavy rain to keep yourself and other road users safe.
- Use dipped headlights
- Don’t use rear fog lights
- Reduce your speed
- Leave a larger gap between you and the car in front
If it’s been raining very heavily then it’s quite common to come across roads that have been badly flooded. If you have to drive through water then it’s important that you know how to do so safely to avoid damage to your car. Here are a few tips for driving through flooded areas safely.
- Drive slowly through water to avoid creating a bow wave
- Test your brakes immediately after driving through flood water
- If the engine cuts out do not attempt to restart, call for assistance
- If your tyres lose contact with the road and you lose control of the steering then you are experiencing ‘aquaplaning’. To rectify this hold the steering wheel lightly and take your foot off the throttle until you feel your vehicle regain its grip on the road