As we head into the back end of the year drivers are faced with longer dark nights and driving in heavy rain which can be very dangerous. Even though vehicle technology has improved no end you must always remember that your vehicle is not waterproof therefore you should avoid driving through deep standing water. Driving through deep water can lead to many problems including engine failure which can be extremely expensive to have repaired.
Below are a few tips to help you prepare for driving in the wet:
- Take the time to plan your journey in advance, ensuring that you avoid areas which are prone to flooding, allow extra time for travelling at slower speeds.
- Before leaving home consider whether your journey can be delayed until after the rain has eased off.
- Make sure family and friends know your intended route and expected time of arrival and when possible do not travel alone.
- Always have a fully charged mobile phone just in case you break down or encounter any other difficulties on your journey.
- Make sure your windscreen wiper blades (both front and back) are in good condition. If not replace them with new ones.
- Ensure you have plenty of fuel as driving with your lights and heater on uses more fuel than driving in normal conditions.
If you are driving in areas prone to flooded follow the below tips:
- Keep plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
- Always test your brakes after driving through deep water.
- Do not drive through water if you are unsure of the depth – the edge of the kerb is a good indicator of how deep the water is.
- Drive at a lower speed as aquaplaning (when a layer of water builds between the wheels of the vehicle and the road surface, leads to a loss of traction) can cause loss of control leading to an accident.
- Do not drive through fast flowing water as the current can quickly sweep you away.
- Allow oncoming traffic to pass first – make sure you have a clear route ahead so you do not have to stop in standing water.
When driving on the road in wet weather conditions:
- Keep tuned in to the local radio station who give regular news bulletins to keep up-to-date with road closures, flooding and forecasts.
- Always remember to slow down as it takes longer to stop your vehicle in the wet allow for greater stopping distances.
- Use dipped headlights so that other drivers can clearly see you.
- Keep a look out for large or fast-moving vehicles creating spray which reduces visibility.
- Always be considerate to other road users and try not to spray pedestrians and cyclists as you drive through water.