How to drive safely in heavy rain:
In wet weather, stopping distances are at least DOUBLE those required on dry roads. This is because your tyres have less grip on the road.
- The ‘two-second rule’ no longer applies, with the Highway Code advising drivers to allow at least twice the distance on wet roads. Further advice includes:
- If the steering becomes unresponsive, it probably means that water is preventing the tyres from gripping the road. This is called aquaplaning. Ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually, maintaining a good grip of the steering wheel. The car will regain its grip as the water clears.
- Rain and spray from vehicles may make it difficult to see and be seen.
- Spilt diesel may make the surface very slippery, especially after a prolonged period of dry weather.
- Take extra care around pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders.
What should I do to stay safe when driving in the rain?
IAM RoadSmart has the following additional advice for driving in the rain, including what to do in a flood.
- If you need windscreen wipers, you need your headlights. Automatic lights may not activate in bad weather, so make a sensible decision as to whether these need to be turned on. Daytime running lights are not suitable in heavy rain, especially as your rear lights may not be illuminated.
- Keep your windscreen clean, the wipers in good condition, and the washer jets positioned correctly.
- If you approach a flood, ask yourself some questions, for example:
- Can you find an alternative route? If the standing water is more than six inches deep, avoid driving through it. If in doubt, stay out.
- What caused the flood? If it was a burst water main, the road surface may be completely broken up.
- Are other vehicles able to get through? If not, find an alternative route.
- Is the water fast flowing? If it is, DO NOT drive through the flood – there’s a danger your car could be swept away.
- If you drive through standing water, do it slowly. Press lightly on your clutch and add gentle pressure on the accelerate to increase engine revs. Do so without increasing your speed to precent water from entering the exhaust. When you have passed through the flood, test your brakes to make sure they are dry and operating correctly.
- Remember, you could receive a fixed penalty and three points on your licence for accidentally splashing pedestrians. Do it deliberately and you could receive a court order and a fine.
Motoring research: 20/01/2021
Author: Gavin braithwate-Smith | Original article: here
If you have any further questions or would like any more advice surrounding ways you can stay safe on the roads when it is raining, please do not hesitate to get in touch or book online for a free check to ease any concerned you may have with your vehicle before you set off on your journey.