Safe driving in heavy rain
The Institute Of Advanced Motorists has published some practical tips to help drivers prepare for driving in heavy rain and make their journeys as safe as possible.
Before setting off, check for any weather alerts, traffic updates or planned road closures that may affect your journey. Only travel in extreme adverse weather conditions if it is really necessary.
Check the lights and windscreen wiper blades are clean and working properly. Also check the tyre pressure and tread depth to ensure the best possible grip on wet surfaces.
Plan your route in advance, and try to avoid any roads that are prone to flooding – even if it extends your journey.
Heavy rain often leads to damaged road surfaces, and puddles can hide deep potholes – look for clues such as loose chunks of tarmac.
In heavy rain, don’t forget to switch on your dipped headlights so other vehicles can see you easily. Reduce your speed in the rain to increase your stopping distance. This will also help you pass through large puddles and potholes smoothly, without spraying other road users or risking aquaplaning.
Torrential rain may interfere with the electrics of a vehicle and cause a breakdown. Prepare for the worst by keeping your mobile phone charged and with the number of your breakdown service provider saved on it. While waiting for help, keep your bonnet closed as soaking the engine will only make it worse.
“Driving in heavy rain can be very hazardous so allow for the increased time and distance,” the IAM’s Director Of Standards, Mark Lewis said. “Remember to lift your vision and always be mindful of vulnerable road users who need more time to react to a hazard. So long as you drive carefully and take extra care in the rain, your journey should be a smooth one.”