Top tips for driving in wet weather
18 October 2017
We’re so used to rain in the UK that wet weather may seem like nothing more than an inconvenience, but driving in drizzly conditions can be hazardous if you’re not prepared. Road accidents and calls to breakdown lines increase when it’s raining, so it never hurts to take a few extra precautions when it’s wet outside.
Electrical faults and other damage caused by rain may be out of your control, but there are still steps you can take to keep yourself – and everyone around you – safe in less-than-ideal weather. Even if you’re a confident driver yourself, it’s important to be aware of other drivers around you who may be more nervous or inexperienced at handling rainy conditions, as well as knowing what to look out for when you’re driving.
These tips for driving in wet weather will help reduce any risk next time you get caught in the rain.
1. Take your time
Now is not the time to hurry – doing so makes aquaplaning more likely, for a start. When the roads are slippery, put a little extra distance between you and the car in front to give yourself twice as long to react to hazards. Even if your reaction times are the same come rain or shine,your car’s reaction times might not be and the stopping distance will always be greater when it’s wet.
If you do aquaplane, don’t panic. Take your foot off the accelerator, keep the steering wheel pointing the right way and avoid hitting the brake until the wheels regain contact with the road.
2. Reduce Distractions
We all know that we should minimise distractions while driving, and it’s even more important to do so when it’s raining. Turn down the radio, switch off your phone and ask passengers to let you concentrate if you need to. A little more focus could make a big difference.
3. Check your windscreen wipers
A quick check of the windscreen wipers takes seconds and could be the difference between a safe journey and a near-accident when it ours. Before you buckle up and set off, flick your wipers on to make sure they’re working well enough to handle even the heaviest rain.
4. Avoid cruise control
Many Ford and Volvo cars come with cruise control but don’t be fooled by the name: cruise control can actually make you lose control in wet weather conditions. Not only that, you’ll go even faster – and be an even greater risk to everyone around you - if you aquaplane while in cruise control.
5. Don’t skip your car service
If you’re worried about anything at all, don’t wait until it’s too late – book in for a car service as soon as you think something mightbe wrong. You could put it off, but is it really worth it? You probably won’t think so when you break down in the rain.
6. Only drive if it’s necessary
Before you jump into the driver’s seat, ask yourself if it’s necessary to drive. If the rain is strong or there’s lots of water build-up on the roads, try to avoid driving at all. If you can, wait until the rain has eased or the roads are likely to be a little calmer.