A friend of ours says there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.
So perhaps there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate driving. Here we look at what is appropriate driving for the wet.
USE GOOD TIRES
Only your tires stand between you and the wet road, so make sure these have plenty of tread on them. Driving in the rain, you will have less control of your vehicle. If the tires are starting to get bald, you run the risk of aquaplaning or skidding.
Official speed limits only apply in fine weather conditions. You want all your tires to grip the road at all times and the best way to ensure that is to slow down. Keep an eye on the cars in front, to see whether they are changing speed. The rule is, it is better to reduce speed in wet weather than use your brakes.
Some modern cars have stability control systems or slippery weather modes – use them. Otherwise, be sure to avoid harsh braking or acceleration. It is best to brake slowly with gentle pressure, which means leaving a lot more room than usual to stop or slow down.
DOUBLE THE DISTANCE
It’s never a good idea to drive too close to the vehicle in front of you but, in wet weather, it’s even worse. If something unexpected happens, you need to be able to stop in time. While the regular distance/stopping time is about 2 seconds, it is best to double it to 4 seconds at least when the rain is pelting down.
While many new cars have bright lights permanently on, even in the daytime, you should use at least low beam lights during a rainstorm. Avoid rear fog lights, as they tend to dazzle or mislead the drivers behind. Use your headlights to give you a clear view of the road and so other motorists can see you.
Visibility is crucial, so make sure your windscreen is clean and free of oily patches or dents. Your windscreen wipers need to be working to the maximum, clearing away raindrops efficiently and quickly. Use demisters or air conditioning to keep your windscreen – and the road ahead – completely transparent.
Never drive through water. You do not know how deep it is. Even in an SUV, it is dangerous to enter a flood because you can’t see the road underneath and you don’t know how fast the water is flowing. Floodwaters often contain unexpected debris too.
While comprehensive insurance can cover flood-related claims, there may be a question about who is “at fault”. Remember your insurance may not cover property damage, only injury to a person in an accident involving your car.
And remember, there may be no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate driving.