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Driving in bad weather

Our weather can be unpredictable and heavy rain storms can suddenly break out catching you on the road.

Please follow our advice on how to stay safe in the wet:

  • Regularly check your windscreen wiper blades are fully functional, if they are not up to scratch, get them replaced.
  • Check that your tyres are of the recommended legal tyre tread depth so you can be sure you have a safe amount of grip on the roads.
  • Listen out for local news bulletins to keep up-to-date with road closures, flooding and forecasts
  • Carry a mobile phone in case you encounter any difficulties during your journey.
  • Use your air conditioning to stop your windows from misting up.
  • Reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front as stopping distances in rain are increased. Normally you should leave two seconds between you and the car in front, in wet conditions increase this to four seconds.
  • If there are high winds or strong gusts of wind reduce your speed further to prevent being blown around or into other vehicles.
  • Use dipped headlights so that other drivers can see you more easily.
  • Don’t use rear fog lights as they can mask your brake lights and dazzle drivers behind you.
  • Look out for large or fast-moving vehicles creating spray which reduces visibility.
  • Look out for debris on the road caused by high winds or flooding.
  • If you break down in torrential rain keep the bonnet closed while waiting for help to arrive, to avoid the electrical system getting soaked.
  • Driving too fast through standing water could lead to tyres losing contact with the road.  If your steering suddenly feels light you could be aquaplaning. To regain grip, ease off the accelerator, do not brake and allow your speed to reduce until you gain full control of the steering again.
  • Be considerate to other road users and try not to spray pedestrians and cyclists as you drive through water.
  • Always size up any puddles before you drive into them. If the water is muddy you might not be able to see the bottom and gauge its depth. Try and find a stick or an object to find the lowest point.
  • If it’s clearly too deep for your car, find another way to your destination. Modern vehicles’ door seals are good and keep water out, but this can make a car buoyant, meaning it could begin to float if the water gets to deep leaving you stranded.
  • Even if the puddle is shallow enough to drive through it may hide objects or holes left by drain covers that have lifted, so look out for these.
  • Keep your vehicle in a low gear (second is generally adequate) and engine revs up. This will help you maintain momentum when you travel through the puddle, creating a bow wave so you don’t get bogged down.
  • Once you exit the other side let any excess water drain away and flow back to where it came from as it will reduce you grip levels on the road.
  • If steering becomes unresponsive due to the rain, ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually.


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