Six Top Tips for Driving in Wet Weather

Driving in Britain can be a frustrating experience, as the climate is so changeable, which can mean wet summers and mild winters. This year is no exception, with forecasters predicting that June 2019 may be the wettest on record.

Ransome Mobility has been supplying nearly new and used WAVs for customers in East Anglia for many years, and we take a keen interest in all motoring safety matters. Here are our top six tips for driving in wet weather, for both wheelchair users and friends family or carers who may also be behind the wheel.

Plan Your Trip

Driving in a downpour can be hazardous for the most experienced of motorists, so consider if you really need to make the journey in the first place. Check the weather forecasts and the traffic reports to see if there are any reports of local flooding. If your trip really is essential, then give yourself plenty of time.

Even local journeys can take a lot longer as traffic is likely to be travelling much more slowly. It is advisable to make sure you have some food and drink, and a mobile phone on board in case you get stuck in a jam.

Check Your Tyres and Windscreen Wipers

You should make sure your car is in good condition before you make a trip. Items needing particular attention in wet weather include windscreen wipers and tyres. The wipers should ideally be checked once every six months, as the rubber blades can easily get worn with over-use.

And if the grooves and channels on your tyres are worn away then your vehicle is more likely to ‘aquaplane’, as the wheels effectively float on the water. This affects the vehicle’s handling, particularly its steering and braking. So make sure your tyre tread is well above the recommended minimum.

Fill Up Before You Go

If you are heading out into the rain, you need to make sure you have more than enough fuel to make your trip. Filling up during a downpour can be an unpleasant experience, particularly so for wheelchair users. Remember that your fuel economy will go down if you are stuck in a weather-related traffic jam. Having your lights, wipers, heaters or air conditioning switched on will also reduce your miles per gallon.

Slow Down and Keep a Safe Distance

The Highway Code says braking distances can be doubled in wet weather. The so-called ‘two-second rule’ which says that you should stay at least two seconds behind the vehicle in front should be increased to four if it starts to pour with rain. That way you give yourself a greater margin for error if the vehicle in front of you gets into difficulty.

And it’s important to ensure you stay well under the speed limit, as driving fast through deep water can cause serious damage to your car, as well as spraying other vehicles and pedestrians.

Turn Your Lights On

Other motorists need to be able to see you as much as you need to see them, so make sure you turn your dipped headlights on. However, don’t be tempted to switch on your rear fog lights, as these can dazzle drivers behind you and mask your brake lights.

You should also take steps to avoid the windows misting up on the inside, as rain causes the humidity levels to increase. If your vehicle has air conditioning, increasing the heat level will help, and if it hasn’t, directing warm air towards the windscreen and windows should help clear them.

If You Hit Trouble

You should only drive through a large area of standing water if you can be sure it’s shallow enough, and when you do, stay in a low gear to allow you to keep your momentum up. If you do break down, keep the car bonnet closed, as the rain could affect the electrics. If you have stalled, avoid trying to restart the engine, as this could also cause long-term damage. Turn on your hazard warning lights and call for assistance.

Used WAVs from Ransome Mobility

At Ransome Mobility we are experienced suppliers of used WAVs in Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk and throughout East Anglia.. We can supply and install a range of vehicle adaptations, including scooter and wheelchair hoists, steering wheel balls and twin flip accelerators, all tailored to your individual requirements. If you would like to know more about the vehicles we currently have in stock, follow this link.

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