Now that January is here, we can expect to see quite a bit of rain over the next few days and weeks, which means you may need to change the way in which you drive to ensure that you can stay safe on the roads.
Be mindful of your environment and keep your speed under control, leaving twice as much space between you and the car in front, since your stopping distance will increase in wet conditions.
Keep your headlights on if your visibility is seriously reduced so that you can see what’s ahead and so that other road users can see you. You can also use your fog lights if it’s especially murky out there, but make sure you turn these off when visibility improves.
Something to be particularly cautious of is standing water, which can quickly collect on roads during heavy rain and downpours. Always take pedestrians and cyclists into account when driving and if you have to pass someone, make sure you go through any standing water slowly so you don’t create a tidal wave.
In fact, you can even be fined and get points on your licence for throwing water onto pavements and soaking anyone at the side of the road.
Driving quickly through standing water can also increase the risk of aquaplaning, which is when water builds up at the front of the tyres quicker than the weight of the vehicle is able to displace it. This then creates a layer of water between the tyres and the road, causing them to lose their grip and making it harder for you to keep the car under control.
If you do find yourself aquaplaning, don’t slam on the brakes. Ease off the accelerator gently instead and keep the steering wheel straight. Once you feel yourself regaining control of the vehicle, you can start braking to bring the speed down.
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