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How to drive safely in heavy rain

By 16th October 2023 January 29th, 2024 Car Advice, News
How to drive safely in heavy rain

Driving in heavy rain can be challenging, especially for Northern Irish motorists who frequently encounter wet weather throughout the year. To ensure your safety and that of others on the road, follow these essential tips and guidance on navigating through heavy rain.

Before you leave the house:

  1. Check wiper blades: Ensure optimal visibility by regularly checking and replacing worn-out wiper blades.
  2. Carry a Raincoat: Keep a compact raincoat in your car for unexpected downpours.
  3. Fuel Up: Avoid getting stranded by maintaining a filled fuel tank.

Tyre maintenance:

  1. Check Tyre Depth Regularly: While the minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm, most motoring experts recommend changing your car tyres when they reach a tread depth of 2mm. This is extremely important as worn tyres reduce grip on wet roads, increasing the risk of an accident.

You might find our blog on ‘the truth about part worn tyres’ useful.

Braking distance and speed:

  1. Double Braking Distance: Wet brakes may not provide the same level of friction as dry ones, leading to a longer braking distance.
  2. Increase Following Distance: Allow extra space between vehicles and maintain at least a four-second gap to prevent aquaplaning.
  3. Reduce Speed: Slow down to adapt to wet conditions and avoid accidents.

Lights and space:

  1. Use Dipped Headlights: Improve visibility by using dipped headlights.
  2. Avoid Rear Fog Lights: Prevent dazzling by refraining from using fog lights.
  3. Maintain Safe Distances: Leave sufficient space to avoid rear-end collisions.

Dealing with floods:

  1. Choose Alternate Routes: Avoid flooded areas by planning alternative routes.
  2. Drive Slowly Through Water: If you must go through floodwater, drive slowly in first gear to prevent hydroplaning.
  3. Dry Brakes After Water Crossings: Drive slowly with brakes on after going through water to dry them.

General tips:

  1. Stay Cautious: Slow down and maintain ample space in all weather conditions.
  2. Be Alert: Watch out for slippery roads and hidden hazards.
  3. Plan Your Route: Plan routes to avoid congestion and flood-prone areas.

By following these tips, you can navigate heavy rain safely, reducing the risk of accidents and ensuring your well-being on the road.

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