If you’ve been following my blog for a while now you may have seen my post way back in February about the fact that I had been driving for one year. It’s now been 18 months since I’ve passed my test and in that time I’ve had my fair share of driving experiences, (hitting a wall, accidentally hitting a man on a bike, driving on the motoway…) but I’d like to think that I’m now a better driver than ever because of those experiences.
One thing that I still dislike about driving however, is driving in the rain. I know most people don’t particular like driving in the rain, but I really bloody hate it. I’ll always do it, because I never like to let fear stop me from doing things but it’s deffo not my favourite thing in the world. But, I live in England, and with the UK experiencing up to 156 days of rainfall a year, it ‘s clear to see why we all have to become accustomed to driving in the rain.
That’s not to say that it doesn’t come without its dangers though, so today I wanted to write a post encouraging you all to take more care when driving in the rain.
Use your headlights
They’re there for a reason: USE THEM. Headlights are incredibly useful when it’s raining as it allows other drivers to see you more clearly, thus reducing the likelihood of them crashing into you. When it’s raining, the atmosphere is generally darker and more gloomy, therefore it’s imperative that you’re able to see effectively.
Obviously you should maintain a safe, suitable speed when driving in the rain but it’s a good idea to reduce your speed. When driving in the rain, your stopping distance is multiplied by two so ensure that you brake in plenty of time.
Keep your windows clear
It’s obviously essential to keep your windows clear at all times, but particularly when driving in the rain as visibility can become severely reduced, especially if your windows steam up. It’s a good idea to keep the heating on a low heat so that your windows are constantly clear.
Ensure that your tyres are in good condition
The legal tread depth of tyres is a minimum of 1.6mm in a continuous circle around the central three quarters of the tyre (I remember memorising that religiously when I was doing my theory and practical test!). This means that your tyres need to be kept in good condition so that they don’t become bald; this can mean less grip for you on the roads. You can reserve cheap tyres online at Point S so that you’ll never have to worry about your tyres wearing thin and becoming dangerous to drive on!
Use your windscreen wipers
This may seem like a fairly obvious point but it’s still an incredibly important one. It’s also ideal to replace windscreen wipers every six to twelve months to ensure that they are doing the job correctly.
Drive with both hands on the wheel
Again, this one may seem like an obvious point but it’s remarkable how many people only use one hand to drive with. It’s extremely dangerous in good weather conditions, but driving without both hands on the wheel when it’s raining can be incredibly dangerous as it could cause you to lose control.
What to do if you aquaplane
Aquaplaning is when water gets in between the car tyres and the road and this causes the driver to lose control. You should be able to tell if you’re aquaplaning as your steering will become very light and there’ll be little to no grip. In this situation, you must remain very calm and composed, ease off the accelerator, do not brake and allow your speed to gradually reduce until you can regain control of your car. It can be a very scary thing if this happens, particularly if the weather is very bad, but you should try and remain as calm as possible.
Have you got any advice on how to drive safely in the rain? Which conditions do you find the worst to drive in? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @imjustagirl_16.