Blue skies and a light breeze through open windows…driving in the summer can be great – but quite often that’s not the case in the UK!
With summer comes thunderstorms and rainy days that are dreadful to drive in. Wet roads can cause accidents more easily as heavy showers reduce visibility.
It’s important to know how to prepare for driving in wet conditions, so here’s our advice for driving safely in the rain.
See and be seen
Firstly, safety starts before you drive. Make sure your windscreen wipers are in good condition, top up your screenwash and check your lights are working – you need good driving visibility! A good tyre grip is also vital in wet conditions so check your tyre tread and pressure regularly.
The number one rule for safe driving, pretty much always but especially during rain, is slowing down. Let’s repeat: you need to slow down to stay safe! It’s a lot more difficult to handle a car on a wet road as stopping distances and visibility is reduced.
Keep a good distance
Hopefully, you’re not that person who is always stuck in someone’s bumper! Keeping a good distance to the car in front of you is always important but especially in wet conditions. Your brakes won’t have the same impact as they do on a dry road.
Use your lights correctly
Dipped headlights will be useful in heavy rain as other drivers can see you better. Don’t use rear fog lights to try and help your visibility; in wet conditions, this will only make your view more blurry and dazzle the drivers behind you.
Avoid pools of water
Driving fast through deep water can cause damage to your car, or make you aquaplane. Prepare for any large or fast-moving cars passing you spraying water everywhere and reducing your visibility. Try to be considerate towards others as well. If you’re not sure how deep the water is, don’t risk it.
Master the aquaplane
The term ‘aquaplaning’ refers to when your car’s tyres touch on too much water on the road, being unable to clear all of it. The water builds up under the tyre lifting the car slightly off the road surface. It’s basically surfing!
You’ll feel loss of control in steering and feel somehow stuck in the movement. It’s probably the first thought that comes to your mind but do not brake! This will cause you to skid and can be very dangerous.
Stay calm, take your feet off the pedals and let the car slow down by itself whilst steering lightly. The water will eventually clear and you’ll have normal grip again.