As usual, summer has brought with it a polarised mix of weather. Glorious sunny spells have been broken by the occasional torrential downpour.
Summer roads can be surprisingly slippery. A rain shower after a period of warm dry weather redistributes the oil and greasy debris that has built up in the road surface, creating a low-friction film that often catches drivers out.
With more rain forecast in the coming weeks, let’s look at some tips from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, about how you can stay safe when travelling in wet weather.
- Be sure to check your local weather forecast beforehand so you can plan your journey accordingly. If heavy downpours are expected, avoid starting your journey until it clears. And if you have no choice but to travel, use main roads where possible which are less likely to get flooded.
- Don’t forget to check your windscreen wiper blades and lights are working properly. You’ll need to use your dipped headlights if visibility is significantly reduced so give them a check too.
- On flooded roads, think before driving through deep water, don’t stop in standing water and drive through the highest section of the road slowly. If there is any doubt don’t enter it. Once you have managed to drive through check your brakes and dry them out as quickly as possible – a light touch of the brakes whilst still moving should do the trick.
- Roads will be more slippery than usual in wet weather – be sure to give yourself more time to react when approaching a hazard. Increase your following gap to at least four seconds from the moving traffic in front.
- Keep your eyes peeled on the road at all times as spray from other vehicles can suddenly reduce your visibility. Remember it affects others too, so anticipate their actions and be prepared.
- If your tyres begin to lose traction, ease off the accelerator, avoid braking and allow the speed to naturally decrease until you have full control of your car again.
“Driving in wet weather can be challenging, and with delays and increased concentration needed it can be more tiring too. By allowing increased time to stop and extending your following distance you can remain safe.”
Education is key to making sure drivers are competent in any conditions. For business drivers and fleets, training with IAM RoadSmart is an excellent way to ensure that drivers, whether individually or in groups of any size, are safe, efficient and confident on the road. Get in touch and find out how we can help you protect your drivers, save money, and ensure compliance with health and safety legislation.