An Idiot's guide to driving safely in the rain
With winter upon us, it makes sense to take more care when driving. It is very likely to rain where you are so here are some things to be aware of from a bit of an idiot. Consider is a sort of 'wisdomous' experience.
TOP TIPS FOR DRIVING IN HEAVY RAIN
- Make sure you drive carefully and defensively as water on the road can alter your car’s responsiveness. While this one may seem obvious, it is nevertheless very important.
- Always have your headlights on so you can clearly see the road up ahead
- Always have your windshield wipers on when it’s raining so you can see as clearly as possible
- Make sure you leave extra space between your car and others to avoid collisions
- If you can, try and stay in the middle lane to minimize the possibility of any obstacles
- Avoid driving through standing water as this could be hiding potholes or unseen hazards
- Always make sure you have the appropriate tyre thread depth. The minimum by law is 1.6mm, always aim to ensure they are deeper than this.
- If you do end up driving through a pool of water, make sure you tap on your brakes slightly to dry them off as wet brakes will not react as well as dry ones.
- Keep a watchful eye out for pedestrians, overcast skies and heavy rain can make them much more difficult to see
- Make sure your car is mechanically sound, check your gauges and listen out for any unusual noises, if you notice something that doesn’t seem right, take your car to the garage immediately
- Lastly, it’s down to you, if you don’t feel safe driving in the rain then pull over and wait for it to clear up if you think it’s likely to.
PREPARING YOUR CAR FOR THE RAIN
If you know bad weather is coming, then it is always advisable to check the following things on your car.
- CHECK YOUR BATTERY - If your battery is 4-5 years old, you may want to consider changing it as this is a vital organ to your car.
- CHECK YOUR BRAKES - Make sure you get your brake pads and discs checked before bad weather, as your car is more vulnerable in wetter conditions.
- CHECK YOUR EXHAUST SYSTEM - Ensure that you have no fuel leaks as this will put other drivers at risk and make the road more slippery for them
- CHECK YOUR IGNITION - The last thing you want if you’re stranded in bad weather is your car not to start. Always make sure this is checked regularly.
- CHECK YOUR LIGHTS - Make sure all your lights are functionally properly and even put extra fuses in your car to keep as spares.
- CHECK YOUR TYRES- Proper traction is vital when driving in bad weather conditions. This will help your stopping and turning on wet surfaces. Making sure your tyres have a deep thread ensures more traction. As well as tyre thread and condition, make sure your tyres have the correct amount of pressure in them. You can do this by checking your owner’s manual or door frame. Be sure not to over inflate them. In addition to this, make sure all your tyres are the same to ensure a stable ride.
- CHECK YOUR WIPERS AND WASHERS - Always make sure there is enough washer fluid in your washer reservoir, even carry an extra bottle in your car if needed. As well as this, make sure your wipers are in good condition as this is very important in bad weather. You should aim to replace your wipers once a year