How To Drive In Heavy Rain And Flooding – Everything You Need To Know To Stay Safe On The Road

Motorists are being warned to take extra caution when travelling as >torrential downpours look set to drench

much of the UK.

>Severe warnings for heavy rain have been issued

across parts of south-west and north-east England, with the heaviest outbreaks of rain forecast to fall overnight and during Tuesday's morning rush-hour.

According to experts,

more than an inch of rain is predicted to fall in just six hours. Travel delay and disruption likely as well as surface water flooding on roads. 

RELATED ARTICLES: >UK weather warnings - what do red, yellow and amber alerts mean?

Mixed bag for Britain with blustery showers causing wet start to the week

Five-day forecast: Unsettled but showers easing

Fog, wind and heavy rain are among the biggest dangers for motorists and can often lead to difficult driving conditions and accidents, so staying safe and informed is key.

Here’s everything to know about driving in these tricky conditions.

How to drive safely in heavy rain:

Rain not only reduces visibility, but also the amount of grip your car has, which increases stopping distances.

Before setting off, check car tyres have the legal minimum tread depth, or more. 

Otherwise the tyres will easily aquaplane, especially if there is a lot of standing water on roads, which could lead to potentially losing all control. 

If this happens, resist the temptation to steer or brake, as this will almost certainly cause the car to skid, and that could become disastrous.

Instead, remain calm, keep steering the pointing in the direction of travel and the tyres will grip again after the puddle.

MORE: What to do during and after a flood

When driving in the rain, keep in mind:

  • There will most likely be surface water on the roads and deep puddles.
  • To check if the dipped beams are working, as well as the lights on both sides of the car - at the front and at the back.
  • If you have anti-lock braking system, push as hard as you can and don't lift.
  • If you don't have anti-lock braking system, then lift a little if it locks and then push again harder.
  • Driving through deep water can cause serious damage to a car, which insurance companies might not cover.

How to drive safely in strong wind:

Caravans and tall lorries are most affected by gusts. However, cars can still be shoved around during blustery weather.

When driving through areas prone to strong winds or when weather forecasts predict severe weather, drivers should take extra care - especially in areas surrounded by trees as strong gusts could lead to falling branches.

Motorists also need to watch for pillars on bridges, where sudden falls in wind pressure can result in swerving. 

MORE: Warnings issued with torrential downpours predicted

When driving during windy weather, remember: 

  • Keep a firm grip on the wheel.
  • Keep an eye on large vehicles.
  • Anticipate gusts.
  • Keep well behind the car in front.
  • Slow down.

How to drive safely in mist and fog:

When visibility is 100 metres or less, it is very important drivers use headlights, and fog lights if the driver chooses.

But avoid using high-beam headlights as the tiny water droplets in fog spread and reflect light.

Remember to stay focused on the roads - driving in fog is not a time for multi-tasking. Turn down the radio or any music, stop any conversation with passengers and roll down the window to hear other vehicles on the road if necessary.

MORE: UK fog risk: What is the difference mist, smog, haze and fog?

Top tips for driving in fog: 

  • Don't just follow the car in front, it might not know where it's going.
  • Slow down - driving at normal speeds in fog can be dangerous. 
  • Stay focused on the roads and look where you are going at all times. 
  • When visibility is severely limited, park up in a safe place away from passing traffic and wait for conditions to improve. 

Top tips on driving in snow, ice and in low temperatures:

Breakdowns almost double during cold weather, according to the AA.

A common cause of breakdowns are flat batteries, which need replacing every five years. Using the heater and other electrical in the car too often can drain the battery quicker.

Batteries should be in good condition, fully charged and checked before heading off - especially before a long journey and in bad weather.

MORE: The difference between snow, sleet and hail explained

Make sure there is equal mixture of water and antifreeze in the radiator to prevent it from freezing over on days where temperatures drop to 5C or lower.

A car's washer bottle also needs topping up regularly, not with engine antifreeze though as this will take the paint off the car. Instead, use a dedicated antifreeze windscreen wash.

During cold, snowy or icy weather, drivers should: 

  • Not drive too fast.
  • Avoid tailgating.
  • Leave a big enough gap behind the car in front to allow a good amount of time to respond.
  • Brake gently and earlier than normal.
  • Make sure all windows, including the windscreen, are clear and all snow is completely off the car before driving.
  • Not drive in icy conditions with cruise control on.
  • Check tyres pressure
  • Only drive if necessary if weather conditions outside are bad.
  • Take caution when driving on bridges or through tunnels.

Keeping a winter kit to hand is also advised during the colder months that consists of an ice scraper, a de-icer, a torch, warm clothes, blankets, a shovel, food and drink, a first aid kit and a high visibility jacket.

    NEXT: Nine incredibly rare and wonderful cloud formations (PHOTOS)

    Source : https://weather.com/en-GB/unitedkingdom/weather/news/2018-04-09-uk-bad-weather-how-to-stay-safe-driving-heavy-rain-wind-fog

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