Whereas it doesn’t look like we’re going to be getting a white Christmas, this is Britain and it’s probably a safe bet we’ll get some heavy rain. Driving in the rain reduces visibility and greatly increases the distance required to slow down and stop. Remember that you will need about TWICE your normal braking distance.
Ensure your windscreen wipers are in good working order. Use dipped headlights during heavy rain in the day and drive smoothly. Plan your journey in advance and consider if roads on your route might be shut due to flooding.
Be mindful of aquaplaning
Aquaplaning is caused by driving too fast into surface water. When the tyre tread cannot channel away enough water, the tyre(s) lose contact with the road and your car will float on a wedge of water.
Aquaplaning can be avoided by reducing speed in wet conditions. Having the correct tyre pressure and tyre tread depth will maximise your tyres’ ability to maintain their road grip. If it happens, ease off the accelerator and brakes until your speed drops sufficiently for the car tyres to make contact with the road again.
Driving on flooded roads? Don’t risk it if avoidable.
• Avoid the deepest water – which is usually near the kerb.
• Don’t attempt to cross if the water seems too deep.
• If you are not sure of the water’s depth, look for an alternative route.
• If you decide to risk it, drive slowly in first gear but keep the engine speed high by slipping the clutch – this will stop you from stalling.
• Be aware of the bow wave from approaching vehicles – operate an informal ‘give way’ with approaching vehicles.
Remember to test your brakes when you are through the flood.