Adverse weather conditions can really hamper drivers on the roads with not only poor visibility but loss of control on the road surface. Heavy rain and flash flooding are one of the most hazardous conditions on the road and can strike sometimes without warning. We thought we’d give our best advice to stay safe when driving in the rain to help avoid any accidents.
Prepare your car and check the weather
Before you leave on your journey, check out for weather warnings which could indicate hazardous road conditions, particularly flooding. Try to avoid driving in heavy rain unless your journey is absolutely necessary. If there are roads that you know are likely to flood try to avoid driving down them by taking an alternative route. Prepare your car by ensuring your wiper blades are working effectively and that you have packed appropriate clothing, warning signs (preferably with lights for better visibility) and blankets in the car should you breakdown. These days phone communication is vital so make sure you’ve charged your mobile phone or take a car phone charger with you in case you need to make an emergency call. Letting others know when you’re planning to make your journey and the route you’re taking will help ease their worries and if you breakdown and can’t get mobile signal they could send out a search party for you. It’s also sensible to fill your car up with enough fuel should traffic bring you to a crawl, eating up fuel resources.
When driving in the rain
- Slow your speed down in wet weather – the reason being is that your stopping distance increases in wet weather by twice as much. Slowing down will give you more time to react to any incidents or loss of control of your car.
- Watch out for spray blocking your view – big puddles can lead to vehicles projecting large amounts of spray, not to mention spray from the vehicle in front.
- Keep the air conditioning working – in particular on the windscreen. This will help prevent the windows misting up, reducing your visibility of the road.
- Dip your headlights – this helps other road users to see you better.
- Avoid using rear fog lights – it may seem strange but this can blind drivers behind you, plus they can’t see your brake lights as easily.
- Listen to the radio – local radio stations can be a great source of information for travel news during your journey and most radio systems have a built-in Traffic Information
If you breakdown in heavy rain
Stay calm. Whether you’ve flooded the engine with too much water by driving too fast, or a general fault in the car has occurred take all the right precautions when you breakdown, especially if visibility is poor. Put your hazard warning lights and dipped headlights on (if you can) to increase visibility to other road users. If you have an illuminated sign, also carefully put that out on the road some distance back from your vehicle to alert others to the breakdown ahead. Of course, try to remain dry by wearing rain coats and sheltering away from the car if there is somewhere safe to do so. Not always is it safe to remain in your broken down car on busy highways. Sometimes if a car engine has flooded give it a few minutes to dry out and attempt to restart the vehicle. Otherwise, if you can’t resolve the breakdown yourself in the rain, call an emergency breakdown recovery service like the AA or RAC or a local garage to come and help or tow your vehicle. Having their numbers handy is also beneficial.
Need your car serviced or repaired after flood damage?
We hope you don’t have any issues when driving through rain but if you’d like us at MCM Garage to take a look at your vehicle if it’s been flood damaged, or simply if you need your car serviced, we’d be more than happy to help if you live near Bath. Just call us on 01761 415 501 or book an appointment with us via our contact form. Safe driving!