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Your Total Guide To motoring

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Driving Tips for Wet Weather

Sadly the heavy rain is set to continue for the next week or so, so have a read of our guide to help you drive in the bad conditions safely.

Always slow down! It takes longer to stop or adjust in wet weather, it’s easy to carry on at your usual speed on roads you know well but inclement weather needs the necessary precautions.

  • Maintain proper following distance (3 Second Rule). This needs to be increased in wet weather.
  • Don't follow large trucks too closely. Their tyres cause spray which reduces your vision.
  • On long journeys stop every 2 hours at least for a break, stressful driving increases tiredness.
  • Avoid using your brakes suddenly if possible, take your foot off the accelerator to slow down.
  • Turn your headlights on even in a light rain, or in gloomy, foggy or overcast conditions. Not only do they help you see the road, but they'll help other drivers see you.
  • Always check you wiper rubbers to make sure they are clearing your windscreen properly.
  • Avoid off-road driving: it's hard to judge the actual depth of puddles and mud, you can easily become stuck, even in a 4x4
  • When driving through a puddle of uncertain depth, go slow. If it's deeper than the bottom of your doors, turn around and find another route.

Before You Go

Wet-weather driving demands gentle use of all the main controls plus a larger allowance for errors and emergencies. Ever had your feet slip off the pedals on a rainy day? Avoid this by scuffing the soles of your shoes on the car mats before you start the engine. You should always regularly check that all lights are working properly too.

How Are Your Tyres?

Check them on a regular basis. Bald tyres significantly reduce your traction on wet roads and offer little resistance to aquaplaning.

Foggy Windows

Rain or high humidity can quickly cause windows to mist up inside the car. In a car with air conditioning, turn up the heat and direct the airflow to your windscreen with the AC switched on. In a car without AC do the same but open your side windows to get the air moving. If your car has swivelling dashboard vents, adjust them so that the air flow strikes the upper edge of the side windows. The airflow will clear the side windows first, finally traveling to the rear of the car.

If you have heated windows at the front or rear simply switch them on and wait for the mist to clear.

Check Your Brakes

If you successfully pass through deep water, test your brakes. They may be saturated, and only driving very slowly and braking lightly at the same time will generate enough heat to dry them out

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