Stay safe in the rain
1st October 2012
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James McCarthy of Mccarthy Cars shares his excellent advice on staying safe on those wet roads...

All the rain and flooding that we have experienced over the last month has made driving conditions quite tricky and, at times, quite treacherous.

Here's a few tips and things to think about to make your wet journeys safer and less stressful:

  • Check your tyres…… for tread and pressure on a regular basis. This is more important than ever when conditions are wet. Properly inflated tyres with the right amount of tread depth will help prevent skids and aquaplaning. 
  • Slow down. This seems obvious but it is surprising how few people actually do it. When it starts to rain, rainwater mixes with grime, oil and leaves on the road, making it very slippy -creating conditions perfect for skids. If you do find yourself in a skid….don't just slam on the brakes. Skids can happen to anyone, even the most cautious and experienced drivers. If you do find yourself in a skid, slamming on the brakes can make the skid worse. The best thing to do is to apply steady pressure to the brakes and steer the car in the direction of the skid. 

  • Keep a bigger distance from the car in front. When conditions are wet and slippy, your brakes are simply not as effective as they are in the dry and it can take up to three times longer to slow down. 

  • Dealing with aquaplaning. Aquaplaning occurs when there is so much water on the road that your tyres are not able to push it all out of the way and your car starts to slide on a thin layer of water between your tyres and the road. To avoid this happening, keep your tyres properly inflated, ensure that there is enough tread on your tyres and drive more slowly. Also, a good tip is to drive in the tyre tracks left by the cars in front of you. However, if you do feel your car starting to aquaplane, again don't slam on your brakes or make quick steering adjustments as this could throw the car into a skid. Instead, ease your foot off the accelerator until your car slows down enough that you start to feel the road again.

  • When the rain gets too heavy and it’s difficult to see where you are going then pull over and stop. This seems obvious but there will be times that the rain will be so hard that it is difficult to see ahead. When this happens, pull over safely and wait for the rain to ease. 

  • Brakes get wet too so remember to dry them off. If you are driving along and have driven through standing water or puddles deep enough to get your brakes wet, then remember to dry them off by gently applying the brakes to dry them. 
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Maud T

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