In the Rain

Tuesday, 12 July 2011
The type of wet road conditions we encounter can range from just a light shower all the way through to a full-blown storm.

The main thing to remember when you’re driving in rainy conditions of any kind is that tyre grip drops off considerably once there is water on the road.

Even though there have been major advances in tyre technology, the bottom line is that your tyres will not grip as well in the wet as they will in the dry.

The level of this deterioration depends on the severity of the conditions but even a minor shower of rain will have an impact on your tyres’ ability to grip the road.

Almost any traffic report reveals how much of an effect the rain can have on the road. You’ll hear reports say “The sudden storm caused a spate of accidents” But it’s not the rain that caused the problem, it was the driver’s inability to drive to suit those conditions.

In most cases people just don’t alter their driving in the rain.

So what can you do to make sure you don’t fall into this category? The solution is reasonably straight forward.

Reduce your speed, look as far down the road as possible, be as smooth as you can and increase following and stopping distances.

It’s also a good idea to put your headlights on to help on-coming cars see you. Just remember to turn them off once you’ve arrived at your destination.

Be extra careful during the first shower of rain. All kinds of lubricants, rubber dust and general road grime accumulates on the road surface during a dry period. When you add water to the mix it will become very slippery and will catch out an unaware driver.

Also, make sure that your windscreen washer bottle is kept topped up and that your wind screen wiper blades are in good condition. The blades should be replaced every six months or so. Remember that your vision is already compromised in the rain so don’t handicap yourself further with poor equipment.

Finally, If the rain gets really heavy and the vision drops that much that you can’t really see where you are going, it’s time to find a safe place to pull over and let the rain pass.

Driving in the rain may not be pleasant but if you keep these principles in mind it will certainly be safer.

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