If you're a driver in the UK, there's a good chance it'll be raining on many of your journeys. Wet weather catches out even the most experienced drivers, but you needn't be one of them. To help safeguard yourself, here's some essential tips from Charles Hurst.
1. Slow down! At high speeds in wet weather, your stopping distance will be much greater, and you'll be much more susceptible to skidding. Remember to keep a safe distance from the car in front to prevent collisions. And if you do feel the car beginning to skid, focus on the road, gently rotate the wheel in the direction of your momentum, and apply firm, steady pressure to the brakes.
2. Be prepared. Planning for your journey and the potential weather conditions is the best way to start any journey. If rain is likely, take the time to check that your wipers, tyres, lights, brakes, and steering are all of a satisfactory standard. Plus, something many motorists tend to forget is to make sure the soles of your shoes are dry, should you need to apply the brakes.
3. You should be aware of how different types of rain can affect you. For example, thicker, heavier rain has the potential to dramatically obscure vision. Should you find yourself in a particularly nasty pocket, it will do you no harm to stop and wait it out. And remember, the first rainfall is the deadliest – this type of shower raises pockets of mud and grease sat within the crags of the asphalt, and is much more liable to cause skidding.
4. Always try to drive in the tracks of the vehicle in front – this is to prevent aquaplaning, where your car becomes stuck atop a small “wave" left in the wake of another vehicle. On a similar note, try to avoid racing through large puddles. Remember that your vehicle is not in contact with the road whilst you are travelling through standing water. If you can't avoid a puddle, pump your brakes a few times afterwards to dry the discs.