Driving in heavy rain and floods can be hazardous. In fact, thousands of car accidents are caused by wet driving conditions.
In light of the recent heavy rain, we have prepared some useful hints and tips to help you keep safe on the wet roads.
Driving on Wet Roads
Check your tyre tread and air pressure. The deeper the tread of the tyre, the less likely the car is to skid or aquaplane. If they are excessively worn, avoid driving in wet weather. Make sure your tyres are adequately inflated by referring to the air pressure guide specified by the vehicle manufacturer.
You must use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced; generally when you cannot see for more than 100 metres. By using dipped headlights, other drivers will be able to see you more easily.
You should slow down by at least 5 miles per hour.
Give the car in front of you more room than you normally would – this helps keep spray back to a minimum.
Drive in the tracks of the car In front. Following another car’s tracks on wet roads can reduce the amount of water between the road and your car tyres.
Avoid sudden movements. Be gentle and progressive when steering, accelerating and braking.
Be aware of puddles - a large puddle can cause a drag that tugs at your wheel, potentially causing your car to swerve.
Be considerate to other road users and try not to spray pedestrians and cyclists as you drive through water.
Driving Through Flooded Roads
Do not enter flood water that is moving or is more than 10cm/4 inches deep.
If you have to drive through flood water, drive over the highest part of the road.
Drive slowly to avoid water creeping into the engine and exhaust pipe. Never take your foot off the accelerator as this could also allow water to enter your car’s exhaust.
Keep the vehicle in first gear and keep revs high. This also helps to reduce water creeping into the exhaust.
Once clear of the flood simply tap the brakes lightly to dry them.
If your engine cuts out after driving through deep water, do not attempt to restart as engine damage may occur – instead call for assistance and have the vehicle professionally examined.