7 Tips for Driving in Heavy Rain
Driving in heavy rain can be nerve-wracking. As well as being hazardous, it can also be expensive because the wet can cause damage to your vehicle. However, many rain-related accidents and breakdowns can be avoided. Here are 7 tips to help keep you safe:
1. Is Your Journey Absolutely Necessary?
If it isn’t, stay at home until the rain clears. If you must go out, here are some steps to take:
- Check that your windscreen wipers and lights are working properly.
- Carry a mobile phone for emergencies.
- Plan your route to avoid areas known to flood.
- Allocate extra time for your journey.
The Highway Code says that you should put on your dipped headlights and rear fog lights when you can’t see more than 100 metres, But always turn your fog lights off when visibility gets better because they can dazzle other drivers.
3. Speed and Stopping Distance
Keep on or below the speed limit. Remember that it takes about twice as long to stop on a wet road as it does on a dry one, so leave at least five car lengths between you and the vehicle in front.
Large vehicles create more spray, which can reduce visibility. If you are overtaking a large vehicle, increase your windscreen wiper speed to compensate. Also watch out for potholes and dips in the road where water accumulates.
5. Standing Water
Driving through a flood could put you in danger and/or cause serious damage to your vehicle by flooding the engine and brakes or sweeping your vehicle away. If there is no other option…
- Drive slowly and at a steady pace in a low gear.
- Don’t follow another vehicle into the water because they could stall and strand you.
- Don’t assume it’s always safe to cross at a ford because the depth and flow of water can increase in wet weather.
- Once out of the water, test your brakes to make sure they are clear of the water.
Aquaplaning happens when your tyres lose contact with the road and you lose steering control. To regain control, don’t break or you will skid. Instead, slow down gradually and steer straight until the tyres make contact with the road.
While waiting for help to arrive, keep the bonnet closed to avoid the electrics getting soaked.