Unless you are Lewis Hamilton, driving in the wet isn’t much fun. While the Formula One ace loves racing on rain-soaked tracks for the rest of us venturing out on wet roads can be extremely hazardous unless you take proper precautions.
From skidding off roads, flipping into ditches, losing control on bends, there are so many serious threats caused by standing water and sodden leaves making road surfaces hazardous and slippery.
Also, in wet conditions, stopping distances will be at least double what they are on dry roads, because your tyres have less grip and the two-second rule will increase to four in heavy rain.
However, there are steps you can take to reduce the risk of loosing control or being in an accident during a downpour:
• First and foremost, make sure your tyres have plenty of grip. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm across the central three quarters and around the entire circumference, however motoring and safety groups recommend replacing your tyres when they wear below 3mm for extra peace of mind
• If you are buying new tyres, check the wet grip rating on their label. It ranges from A (most effective) to G (least effective) and if you regularly drive long distances, on motorways or along leaf-strewn country roads, a high wet grip rating should be a priority
• Keep well back from the vehicle in front. This will increase your ability to see and plan ahead. It will also help you avoid the spray from vehicles ahead impairing your vision
• If the steering becomes unresponsive, this most likely means you are aquaplaning – a terrifying experience. To regain control, ease off the accelerator, do not brake and allow your speed to reduce until your tyres can regain their grip
Click here to find out more about wet grip and other EU tyre label credentials.
Denna Bowman, Head Office