Plan your journey! If you are planning to drive today, plan your journey before you set out
Journey Checklist :
- Check the forecast and road conditions
- Leave extra time for your journey if travel conditions are poor
- Delay your journey if the weather becomes severe
- Ensure that you have done your vehicle safety checks
Driving during heavy rain
Driving in wet conditions can be hazardous, be safe, and prepare for wet weather:
- Use headlights when visibility is reduced
- Regularly check your windscreen wipers and renew them if they’re worn or damaged. Give yourself the best chance of being able to see clearly in wet weather.
- Double the distance you leave between your car and the car in front of you, as stopping distances are increased by wet roads.
- If steering becomes unresponsive due to the rain, ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually.
Driving on flooded roads and standing water
- Don’t try driving through fast-moving water, such as at a flooded bridge approach – your car could easily be swept away.
- Avoid standing water if you can and adjust your speed to the conditions.
- Tyres can lose contact with the road which may result in you losing control of steering (also known as ‘aquaplaning’). If you do experience aquaplaning, hold the steering wheel lightly and lift off the throttle until the tyres regain grip.
- Driving through water at speeds above a slow crawl can result in water being thrown onto pavements, soaking pedestrians or cyclists. You could face a hefty fine and between three and nine penalty points if the police believe you were driving without reasonable consideration for other road users.
- If you should find yourself driving through standing water, use a low gear so the engine rev’s are higher; water in the exhaust could otherwise damage the catalytic convertor.
- If you break down in heavy rain don’t prop the bonnet open while you wait for the patrol to arrive. The engine will be more difficult to start again if the electrics are all rain-soaked.