As this winter is turning out to be one of the wettest and windiest on record it’s a good idea as a driver to be prepared before starting a journey. Even drivers that are experienced can have difficulty driving in adverse weather conditions, as it’s very easy to be caught out in a torrential downpour. For new drivers bad weather can be particularly daunting.
Road surfaces can be covered in standing water due to the effect of poor drainage, which is the cause sometimes of flooding. Rain and spray can also reduce visibility.
Driving too fast through standing water can cause aquaplaning which happens when due to excessive speed the vehicles tyres are not able to displace the water fast enough from beneath them so the tyres loose contact with the road surface which has an adverse effect on both braking and steering. In effect the tyres are travelling across the water in the same fashion as a water skier does.
If this happens the best course of action is to reduce your speed by easing off the accelerator allowing the vehicle to slow down gradually.
Never attempt to drive through water that you don’t know the depth of. If you do have to drive through water do it slowly at a constant speed to reduce the chance of creating a bow wave. If this happens water can be drawn into the engines air intake and could cause the engine to cut out. As a rule its not advisable to drive through water more than 30cm deep. Once you are through the flood carefully try your brakes as water can reduce their effectiveness until they dry out.
Make sure your windscreen wipers are in good condition and that the vehicles electrical system is kept dry.
A good source of information on bad weather driving can be found at;
New drivers can benefit from extra training to help with driving in adverse weather conditions by taking a Pass Plus course after passing the driving test. Drivemark Driving School is Pass Plus registered check out our Pass Plus page at;