By Denna Bowman
Bridgestone is warning drivers to be aware of ‘First Rain’ as showers sweep the country following one of the hottest days of the year so far.
The tyres manufacturer warns that ‘First Rain’, the phrase given to the first downpour following a period of hot, dry weather, is particularly dangerous for drivers as oil and lubricants on the road surface increase the chances of skids and spins.
Poorly inflated or worn out tyres significantly increase the risk of running into trouble.
Andy Dingley, Communications Manager for Bridgestone UK, said: “While we are all aware of how to drive in persistent rain, many motorists remain oblivious to the added dangers of driving directly after a substantial downpour, especially if it is the first rain for a considerable period of time.
“As cars drive along in the dry they leave behind a small residue of greasy substances which accumulate on the road until rains wash them away. The first burst of rain can bring these to the surface and markedly reduce tyre traction.
“If your tyres haven’t been inflated for a while, or they are too worn, you are much more likely to have an accident.”
Drivers can maximize their chances of avoiding the problems associated with First Rain by undertaking following three simple rules:
1. Ensure that your tread depth is of a safe and legal standard – no less than 1.6mm. Visually check your tyres for cuts, lumps and bulges, and make sure your tyre pressure is at the level specified by the vehicle manufacturer to ensure that the tyre is offering optimum wet weather performance.
2. Travel at a steady speed: Always keep to the speed limit and maintain a safe distance between you and the car in front, approximately twice the usual dry distance is advisable as stopping distances in the wet are DOUBLED.
3. Ensure your passengers are wearing a seatbelt: It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure the safety of passengers – so make sure they buckle up!