We’ve already seen some terrible weather this winter, with plenty more wind and rain forecast before the season changes. With that in mind, we’ve come up with a few tips to help make your wet weather driving experience that little bit safer:
Keep windows clean and replace under performing wipers
Clean windows are less likely to mist up and inhibit your visibility. If your windows do start to steam up, make sure you use your air conditioning or heater fans to dispel it as soon as possible.
Windscreen wipers that don’t clear you windscreen when it is raining- or when your car is hit by spray from a passing vehicle- are a hazard, plain and simple. If you wipers make a noise when passing over your windscreen and leave uncleared areas of water, make sure you replace them with effective blades as soon as you can.
Increase distance between your car and the vehicle in front
If the road is wet, it will take longer to stop. In fact, braking distances more than double in wet conditions, making it imperative that you are alert and in a fit condition to be behind the wheel and your vehicle is safe to be on the roads.
By leaving a bigger gap between your vehicle and the one in front, you can ensure that any sudden braking will not result in a collision. Two car lengths should be enough distance to allow a safe braking distance in the wet.
Dry the soles of your shoes before setting off
If the roads are wet or it is raining, chances are your footwear will be wet too. A wet shoe can easily slip off a pedal if it is wet and slippery and you definitely don’t want that happening as you brake to a stop in heavy traffic.
Dry the soles of your feet on your floor mats before you start your journey and it won’t happen. Simple!
Use your lights, even during the day
Not only do your headlights make it easier for you to see where you are going, it makes you easier to be seen by other motorists. If the light is low and the weather bad, you can make your journey safer for you and other road users just by switching on your lights.
Be sure to indicate turns well before you need to slow down too, sudden decisions and manoeuvres cause collisions. It pays to be considerate.
A real hazard when driving in wet weather is aquaplaning. This is when a car’s tyres lose contact with the road and ‘surf’ over pools of water that collect on roads after (or during) heavy rainfall. You may have already experienced aquaplaning if you have driven in wet conditions and found that your steering suddenly seemed remarkably light.
The best way to stop your car aquaplaning is to slowly come off the gas pedal. This will allow the tyres to come into contact with the road again, regain grip and keep you safely on your way. Never brake or try to steer out of aquaplaning as you will risk lose control of your vehicle.
You can lessen the likelihood of this happening by driving in the tracks of the vehicle in front. But really, the slower you travel, the less likely you are to aquaplane in the first place…
Slowing down is also the best advice for driving through flooded areas of road such as burst water mains or deep puddles of standing water. Aim to pass through the water on the highest part of the road going slow enough to prevent a bow wave forming. Keep your foot on the accelerator the whole time; this will help stop water from entering the vehicle through the exhaust pipe.
Once you have navigated your way through the water, dry your brakes by applying them lightly
Never attempt to drive through water that is as high as your vehicle’s exhaust pipe. It will not end well.
Of course, if you find the urge to drive through deep water too great to resist, you can contact us on 020 8769 1184 to arrange recovery…