Tips to drive safely in torrential rain

Driving in wet weather can be challenging, tiring and needs extra concentration.

Driving in wet weather can be challenging, tiring and needs extra concentration. - Credit: PA

With torrential downpours sweeping across the region and causing chaos on the roads here are some tips about how you can stay safe when travelling in wet weather.

Richard Gladman, IAM RoadSmart's head of driving and riding standards, issued the following advice:

Be sure to check your local weather forecast beforehand so you can plan your journey accordingly. If you have no choice but to travel, use main roads where possible which are less likely to get flooded.

Don't forget to check your windscreen wiper blades and lights are working properly. You'll need to use your dipped headlights if visibility is significantly reduced so give them a check too.

On flooded roads, think before driving through deep water, don't stop in standing water and drive through the highest section of the road slowly. If there is any doubt don't enter it. Once you have managed to drive through check your brakes and dry them out as quickly as possible – a light touch of the brakes while still moving should do the trick.


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Roads will be more slippery than usual in wet weather – be sure to give yourself more time to react when approaching a hazard. Increase your following gap to at least four seconds from the moving traffic in front.

Keep your eyes peeled on the road at all times as spray from other vehicles can suddenly reduce your visibility. Remember it affects others too, so anticipate their actions and be prepared.

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He said: 'If your tyres begin to lose traction, ease off the accelerator, avoid braking and allow the speed to naturally decrease until you have full control of your car again.

'Driving in wet weather can be challenging, and with delays and increased concentration needed it can be more tiring too. By allowing increased time to stop and extending your following distance you can remain safe.'

IAM RoadSmart has a mission to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to the advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the trading name of all businesses operated by the UK's largest road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. The organisation has 92,000 members and campaigns on road safety debates on their behalf.

At any one time there are more than 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart's courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while its Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.

For more information visit www.iamroadsmart.com

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