WhoCanFixMyCar offers some top tips for motorists to help keep them safe while driving in the rain
Make sure your lights and indicators are working
Visibility is key. So, make sure your brake lights, headlights and indicators are all working properly before you go anywhere. It only takes a few seconds, but those few seconds can make all the difference.
Next, check your windscreen wipers. Give them a spray to make sure they clean the windscreen properly. If you notice any streaking, we advise getting your wipers checked (or changed) as soon as possible.
Check your tyre pressure
Before any journey, whether that is in the wet or the dry, you should always check your tyre pressure. Under-inflated tyres can have a serious effect on your handling. They can also cause your car to behave unpredictably – especially when it comes to braking.
You will find the correct tyre pressure for both the front and rear tyres in your owner manual. If you are not sure where you have left your manual, then search for Tyre Safe, the tyre safety organisation. Their website will tell you everything you need to know in seconds.
The 20p test
It's not just your tyre pressure you need to check. Your tyres play a vital role in ensuring you are always in control of your car - especially when cornering and braking. If your tread depth is insufficient, your tyres will not be able to grip the road properly, which is vital, especially when it's raining.
One of the most ingenious ways of checking your tyre tread is using a 20p coin. Before heading out on the road, place the 20p in the tread. If you can see the outer band on the coin face, then it means you do not have enough tread and we would recommend replacing your tyre(s) immediately to ensure you are road legal.
Reduce your speed
Keep your foot off the accelerator when driving in the rain. While it may seem obvious, wet roads can be lethal and your car’s reaction times will be slower, so reduce your speed wherever possible and allow for greater stopping distances.
And it is not just us saying this. According to Highways England, almost 3,000 people are either killed or seriously injured every year in the UK when driving in the rain.
Try not to slam on the brakes
Slamming on the brakes too hard and too quickly in the wet can cause your tyres to lock and your car to skid. If you need to brake, then make sure to feather the brakes.
Watch out for standing water
Easier said than done when visibility is limited but driving through standing water can cause you to aqua plane. To avoid skidding across the surface of the road, drive around places where water has collected by changing lanes.
If you do find yourself skidding, ease off the accelerator, don’t brake, and allow the car to naturally slow until you gain control again of the steering. Only then should you put your back on the accelerator.
Pull over if the rain gets really bad
Driving in the rain is an everyday occurrence in the UK and something we all get used to. But if the rain is particularly heavy, with the potential to flood, pull over (if safe to do so) and wait until the worst of the rain has passed before starting your journey again.
If you have any concerns with regards to the handling of your car it's better to be safe rather than sorry. That's why we would recommend booking an appointment at your nearest garage and getting a professional mechanic to check over your vehicle. It will only take a few minutes but could make all the difference when you are out on the road in the wet (or the dry for that matter).