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Top Tips for Driving in Heavy Rain

December 08, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 162

Just like snow, ice and various other winter weather conditions, rain can be extremely hazardous to drive in and accounts for a hefty amount of accidents on the road. Heavy rain reduces visibility and also causes the tires to lose traction, increasing the risk of aquaplaning. With a little preparation and little know-how, driving in heavy rain this winter can be made significantly safer.

Driving in heavy rain

Most people know that if you're driving along and it suddenly starts chucking it down that windscreen wipers are the obvious savior. However, if visibility is seriously reduced then you must use your headlights. If you feel that the visibility of the road is still lacking then use your front fog lights as long as you remember to turn them off when you feel that visibility has significantly improved. Check your car's lights on a regular basis and before you set off for pieces of dirt or anything else that may decrease visibility.

Rain affects stopping distances so remember to keep a fair distance between you and the car ahead (at least three cars length) to ensure you have enough space in front of you in case you happen to skid.

Driving through standing water

If the roads look completely flooded and knee-deep then leave the car at home. If however, you know the water isn't too deep then be sure to drive at a steady speed and in a low gear. Driving too fast through water could result in aquaplaning and it could lead to a nasty accident. Driving at an irresponsible speed could land you in big trouble, especially if you splash pedestrians with water as you quickly drive by!

Avoid aquaplaning when it's raining

Feeling like you've completely lost control of your vehicle is an experience all of us fear. The feeling of your tyres gliding across the water's surface is, of course, aquaplaning. This is caused by the loss of traction and generally happens when it's raining heavily. You can help to prevent you vehicle from aquaplaning by regular tire maintenance, reducing your speed in wet weather conditions and even driving in the tracks of the vehicle in front.

Should your vehicle aquaplane, change to neutral and steer in the direction you want to go. Do not brake or accelerate.

Breaking down in the rain

If you do happen to break down during harsh weather conditions then simply pull over in a safe and secure place. Don't attempt to find the cause of the problem by opening the bonnet, as excessive amounts of water in the bonnet will make starting the engine a lot more difficult.

Toby Holmes

Source: EzineArticles
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