In Ireland we’re well accustomed to rain, however we need to be mindful when driving in heavy rain or floods as this can be a task. We want to keep you safe on the road, so we have put together great tips to help you drive in these un favourable conditions.
N.B; It only takes a few inches of water to damage most vehicles. Avoid driving through water that is deeper than half the diameter of the wheels of your car.
Driving in heavy rain
Slow down on wet roads as your car’s reaction times are much slower when it is raining. Give yourself twice the stopping time you usually would on a dry road and maintain a greater distance between your car and the car in front of you. Excess speed can easily lead to aquaplaning, and no matter how good a driver you are, it is very difficult to manoeuvre your car safely if this happens.
Aquaplaning, or hydroplaning, occurs when a layer of water builds up between the surface of a wet road and the tyres of your car. The tyre tread fills with water and is unable to disperse it as usual – as a result it loses grip on the road. This results in you not being able to control steering, braking or accelerating.
We recommend you do not use cruise control when driving in the rain, wet or slippery conditions as it can significantly increase the likelihood, and dangerous effects, of aquaplaning.
In the event that your car begins to aquaplane:
- Remain calm.
- Do not slam your foot on the brake.
- Ease your foot off the accelerator and hold the steering wheel in the direction of travel, otherwise you could veer and skid into a collision.
- When your car feels like it has more grip and control again, you can start to brake to slow yourself down.
Driving in flood conditions
Listen to weather forecasts before setting out on any journey when flooding is involved. Never drive through flood waters. Pre-planning could allow you to choose an alternative and safer route.
Bodies of water:
Do not enter water if you unsure of its depth. If you do, it could lead to damaging your car and endangering yourself. Avoid driving into standing water as there may be deeper potholes or open drains you cannot see.
Reducing your speed will also reduce the likelihood of water entering the engine and consequently cutting it out. Keep the bow-wave of the water in front of your car at all times and use a low gear.
Enter water slowly, if the water level is up to the wheel’s rims, be sure to test your brakes once you’re out of the water if it is safe enough to do so.
It’s important you avoid moving water. 60 centimetres of water could easily carry your car away. It only takes 30 centimetres of water to make your car float.
Your car and surroundings:
If it is safe to do so, try to drive in the middle of the road as the surface tends to be higher there.
Be extremely careful if you find yourself behind heavy goods vehicles and trucks. Keep a good distance as they generate considerable spray.
Drive with your dipped headlights on to increase your visibility for other drivers.
Keep an eye out for debris and foliage that may be around roads due to harsh weather conditions.
Is your car insurance up for renewal? Get in touch with Cornmarket today we are here to help!
The information contained in this article is from https://www.aviva.ie/insurance/car-insurance/driving-in-heavy-rain-and-flooding/. Source, Aviva October 2019. Cornmarket cannot be held responsible for content contained on external websites.