Keeping Safe On Wet Roads

At this time of year, the weather may not seem to be able to make up its mind about whether it wants to rain or shine. If it does decide to rain and you are out on the roads you need to take into account the weather conditions and tailor your driving accordingly. Heavy rainfall can lead to excess water remaining on the road surface which could make driving more hazardous. Modern roads have been designed to minimize the effects of weather conditions on driving a vehicle, but they are not able to remove the danger completely. If excess water is not able to drain away sufficiently it will remain on the road surface and could cause cars to skid or lead to aqua planning. So if you get caught out in heavy rain you need to think about the way you drive in order to minimize any potential dangers.

Firstly you should reduce your speed. Heavy rain will reduce visibility, which means it will be harder to see what is on the road in front of you. It can also reduce your stopping distance giving you less time to stop your vehicle safely if necessary. If you feel like the steering has become less responsive then you need to ease off the accelerator slowly and reduce your speed until you feel in control again. Whilst driving in these weather conditions you may find that you come across floodwater. If you do, make sure you only cross it if you are sure of how deep it is. Be aware that it would only take a small amount of water in the internal combustion chamber to cause serious harm to your engine. Crossing floodwater should be done slowly to avoid water seeping into the car and so that you do not cause bow waves. In these conditions not all roads and bridges will remain open. It is therefore advisable not to use your satellite navigation systems to guide you, as they may not be completely up to date on the latest closure. To find out what is happening on the roads in your area, you could tune into the local radio station and listen to the traffic report.

If you car does suffer from any conditions make sure that you pull over and stop in a safe place. If you believe it may be a fault with the engine, resist the urge to open the bonnet and take a look as water may get in and affect the electrics. Instead, call for breakdown assistance and wait for professional help as soaked through electrics could make the car harder to start. If you have not purchased a breakdown service you can often do this through your motor insurance provider who may be able to offer you a competitive rate. It is always best to try and keep your car in tip?top condition so it is better able to cope with extreme weather conditions. For example keeping your tyres inflated to the correct level and replacing old windscreen wipers will make all the difference when you are out on the roads.