The cold conditions of late have caused all manner of problems for motorists, with research showing that more than 40% of breakdown call-outs in December and January have been due to a flat battery.*
The UK is slowly recovering from the heavy snowfall and icy conditions, but motorists are not out of the woods just yet.
When the ice and snow melts away, wet driving conditions are common and the risk of flooding increases. So, what do you need to know about driving in wet conditions?
Before you get in the car
Wet conditions are dangerous for two main reasons – increased stopping distances and reduced visibility.
There is not a lot you can do about increased stopping distances, but make sure your brakes are up-to-scratch and your tyres have sufficient tread – no less than 2mm.
To keep visibility up, make sure your windscreen wipers are not worn out and keep your windscreen clean as a clean windscreen is less likely to mist up.
The key thing to remember when driving in wet conditions is that your control over your vehicle is reduced, so you need to be extra careful.
Allow larger distances between you and the car in front, in case you have to brake suddenly. It’s also important to keep your headlights on while driving in the rain, even during the day, as this will help other cars to see you.
One of the most dangerous aspects of driving in wet conditions is the risk of aquaplaning. If your car’s steering suddenly becomes very light, then it’s likely that the car is aquaplaning. To get out of an aquaplane, slowly release the accelerator to allow your car to slow down and regain traction.
Never attempt to brake while aquaplaning and avoid steering, as this could cause you to lose control of the vehicle.
It may be a good idea for motorists to take out breakdown cover, just in case the wet and wintery conditions result in a breakdown.
*’Winter callout causes’ data compiled by LV on behalf of AsdaBack to top