How to stay safe on the road in wet weather

How to stay safe on the road in wet weather 19th September 2014

With the summer almost over for another year, the British weather is about to start getting a tad less predictable, and with autumn and winter weather starting to come in, the roads will start to get a bit trickier for drivers to negotiate. 

While it can be challenging to drive in the wet weather that these seasons bring, by preparing for conditions, drivers have a far better chance of staying safe. 

Before going out on the road in heavy rain, it's best to make sure that your car will be up to the task, and this can be done with a few simple checks. First of all, make sure your tyres are legal and safe – check for any bulges or cuts and make sure the tread depth is at least an even 1.6mm all the way around. 

Other checks you will want to carry out will include making sure your headlights work – they are mandatory when driving in very heavy rain to aid visibility – and the often forgotten windscreen wipers. These will be essential if a downpour starts, so if they are damaged or not cleaning the window evenly, make sure to change your wiper blades as soon as possible. 

Once you're out on the road, being prepared with the knowledge of how to tackle adverse conditions can be priceless and help make sure you get to your destination safely. 

Rule one is always the same – if you don't feel safe driving in heavy rain or floods, then stay home, but if you feel you can tackle conditions, then all it takes is to follow a few simple rules. 

When driving in rain, remember to always double the stopping distance between you and the car in front. If they brake suddenly, your brakes won't work as effectively as they do on a dry road. 

If you start to feel your steering become light or unresponsive thanks to standing water, resist the urge to brake. Simply ease off the accelerator and slow gradually until you regain control of the vehicle. 

Finally, if you should happen to come across a flooded area of road, stop and assess the situation. Never drive into water if you don't know how deep it is, as your car can easily become stuck. You should also allow traffic coming towards you to clear the water before you drive through, and make sure you go slow to avoid creating a bow wave. 

Posted by Danielle Barge