By Denna Bowman
With April showers forecast around the UK this Bank Holiday weekend, the Institute of Advanced Motoring is advising drivers on how to deal with sudden heavy rain showers, following weeks of dry weather.
Making sure tyres have got plenty of tread is one of the top tips the road safety charity is driving home.
Peter Rodger, IAM chief examiner, said: “Rain after a long period of dry weather makes the road surface extremely slippery. A combination of oil, loose gravel and dried rubber all prevent the tyres working efficiently.”
Rodger offers the following tips on driving safely in the wet:
• Visibility will be reduced. If you encounter a sudden downpour, slow down to the point where you can stop within the distance you can see to be clear. Be aware that puddles and standing water could be hiding a pothole.
• Stopping distances will also be far longer than on dry roads. Allow at least twice as much time as usual to stop – at least four seconds. Make sure you have plenty of tread on your tyres for optimum grip.
• Think about replacing those dodgy windscreen wipers that have been smearing for a while – fresh wipers will help you cope with unexpected showers. It’s also worth trying one of the products that remove rain from the windscreen which extend the life of the wipers.
• Keep your windscreen bottle topped up with water and an appropriate screen wash – don’t use washing up liquid, which causes needless smears. Dead flies on the windscreen are a particular issue over the warmer months, and also smear horribly when wipers are used. Clean the inside and outside of the screen regularly and you won’t get caught out if it suddenly rains.
• And if the weather is causing flash floods, do you really need to make the journey right now?