Even the most experienced drivers will have been challenged recently with the continual heavy rainfall and flooding that we have been subjected to in the UK.
Our friends at the RAC offer the following guidelines on driving in these extreme wet weather conditions:
- Use dipped headlights so you are easily visible to other drivers.
- Don’t use rear fog lights as they can be confused for brake lights and dazzle other drivers unless visibility is reduced below 100m by spray, for example.
- Drive at an appropriate speed for the road conditions and leave more space behind the vehicle in front as your stopping distance will increase due to the wet conditions.
- Be aware of spray coming from large or fast-moving vehicles as this can affect visibility.
- If you break down in very heavy rain do not open your vehicle’s bonnet, keep it closed as you may end up soaking the electrical system and creating an additional problem.
- Do not be tempted to drive too fast through standing water as you could lose contact with the road, or aquaplane as it’s also known. If you find yourself in this situation ease off the accelerator rather than braking to slow down until you regain control of the steering.
- Try not to spray pedestrians and cyclists as you drive through water.
- Driving through deep water can lead to serious and expensive vehicle damage.
- Only drive through standing water if you are sure it is shallow enough to do so – the kerb, if there is one, can be a good indicator.
- Drive slowly and steadily – aim to achieve walking speed – so that you do not create a bow wave in front of your vehicle. Let oncoming traffic pass first and ensure the way ahead is clear so you do not have to stop in the middle of the water.
- Try your brakes after leaving flood water.
- If your engine cuts out having driven through flood water, do not try to start it as this may cause greater damage: call for assistance and have the vehicle examined by a professional.
Driving in heavy rain can be very challenging as it affects both visibility and the condition of the road surface. Traffic will quite rightly be travelling slower in the difficult conditions. Check the forecast well before you leave and allow more time for your journey if rain is likely. On long journeys in poor weather don’t be tempted to skip a break because it’s horrible getting out of the car. Driving can be even more tiring in difficult conditions.
Stay safe on the roads and we recommend you invest in breakdown cover. At Topspeed Couriers, our vehicles are covered by RAC Breakdown Service. For information on the services they provide or for more tips on driving safely go to rac.co.uk