April is just around the corner, which means we can (quite possibly) expect considerably damp weather. Here’s everything you need to know about driving in the rain…
Use Your Lights To Keep Yourself Visible
Rain reduces your vision, especially when it’s heavy. You need to make sure that you can see properly and that other drivers are aware of you. Always use your headlights (dipped) when driving in poor weather conditions. This will make it easier to see where you’re going and make other road-users aware of your presence. Properly employ windscreen wipers whilst on the move, checking they’re functioning properly before you set off. Also, remember to make sure that you have a good amount of windscreen wash.
Be Considerate Towards Other Road-Users
A good driver is always considerate towards other road-users; but the need is even more pronounced during bad weather, especially rain. Be aware of pedestrians when you’re driving through flooded areas. No one enjoys being splashed and, to make matters worse, you can be fined eye-watering amounts (up to £5,000) if you’re caught.
Keep On Top Of Your Vehicle’s Maintenance
You should be carrying out regular maintenance checks regardless of the weather. However, it’s even more important when conditions are poor. Your tyres in particular warrant attention when it’s raining. Make sure they have the right air pressures and that they have a sufficient amount of tread depth. The legal minimum is 1.6 mm, although most experts recommend changing it well before it reaches this level. Tyres that are better looked after will provide you with vital grip when traversing wet roads.
Remember, Your Stopping Distance Will Increase
It’s not exactly rocket science. When conditions are wet or damp, it’ll take you longer to bring the vehicle to a stop. This is why it’s so important to leave plenty of space between you and the vehicle in front. You should leave double the amount of space that you usually would. You’ll also need to be extra vigilant of any obstacles or incidents on the road; as you have less time to properly react. Make sure to avoid distractions and remain as attentive as possible. It goes without saying, drive slower than you usually would.
Guard Yourself Against Aquaplaning
Aquaplaning occurs when your tyres lose their traction; usually when there’s a lot of surface water on the road. It means your car will briefly stop responding to your input. You can avoid it by watching your speed and driving smoothly. Should the worst happen, gently ease off of the accelerator and keep the steering wheel straight. Avoid using the brakes until you’ve regained control of the vehicle.
Defensive Driving: Five Things You Need To Know – https://www.autoserveclub.co.uk/blog/defensive-driving-five-things/
Volvo Cars Will Soon ‘Warn’ Each Other Of Hazards – http://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-news/volvo-cars-warn-hazards/