Driving in heavy rain and flooding can be hazardous. Here are some useful hints and tips to help you prepare for wet weather. Breakdown numbers always increase during periods of wet weather as the damp causes problems with engines and electrical systems and it is easy to flood your engine when driving through water, if done so incorrectly.
If you must drive, there are some helpful tips you can use to reduce your chances of an accident or breakdown in wet weather.
How to drive in heavy rain
- First, slow down! Reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front as stopping distances in rain are increased
- Use low-beam headlights so that other drivers can see you more easily
- Look out for large or fast-moving vehicles creating spray which reduces visibility
- Remember to keep your air conditioning on, as this will stop your windows from misting up – furthermore, you can read our full advice page on how to demist your windscreen in double-quick time
- Listen to local news to keep up-to-date with road closures, flooding and forecasts
- If you break down in torrential rain keep your hood closed while waiting for help to arrive, to avoid the electrical system getting soaked
- Driving too fast through standing water could lead to tires losing contact with the road. If your steering suddenly feels light you could be aquaplaning. To regain grip, ease off the gas, do not brake and allow your speed to reduce until you gain full control of the steering again. Driving fast through deep water can cause serious and expensive damage
- Be considerate to other road users and try not to spray pedestrians and cyclists as you drive through water
- Heavy rain may lead to large puddles, areas of standing water and even flooding in the event that you may have to negotiate these types of conditions on the road.
Stopping distances in the rain
Stopping distances will be at least double in wet weather, because your tires will have less grip on the road. Reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front to account for greater stopping distances – remember the two-second rule? Increase it to four if it begins to pour.
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