Driving in wet weather is most definitely more taxing than driving in sunny weather. Even more important is the fact that it dictates and demands a more cautious driving approach.
Here are some tips to take the stress (if at all possible) out of wet weather driving.
• Most importantly, slow down immediately once it starts to rain.
• Switch on your headlights, not your parking lights. It is shocking to see how many people do not do this.
• Ensure your windscreen is clean.
• Allow the rain to wash the dust off your windscreen before you switch the wipers on.
• Increase the following distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you.
• Wet weather creates foggy windows and side mirrors – use the vehicle’s demister/air con to clear this.
• Be mindful of wet patches of water – these may hide potholes and result in the vehicle’s wheels aquaplaning. This happens when the treads on the tyres are not able to channel water away; the tyre lifts up and looses its grip from the road.
• Avoid sudden or hard braking at all costs, as this may cause skidding and you losing control of the car.
• If the car does go into a skid, avoid braking or harsh and sudden movements on the steering.
• Oil patches are another danger especially difficult to see in wet weather. Should you hit a patch, avoid sudden braking or jerky steering movements.
• Be particularly aware of vehicles approaching and passing from the opposite direction and in the wrong lane. Move into the emergency lane if it is safe and you can see clearly for at least 100 metres.
• Be extra vigilant of any blind spots to the rear and the sides of your vehicle.
• Keep both hands on the steering.
• Drive slowly through debris and deep water.
• Be particularly weary of river crossings and low-water bridges – rather err on the side of caution than being swept away.