Driving in the wet always needs an extra amount of caution and care, with the recent deluge of rain in many areas of the country a timely reminder to slow down, stay home and avoid driving through floodwaters.
While that all sounds like common sense, the sudden onset of wet and flooded roads can mean there’s not much time to put a plan in action. Here are few tips to help ensure you’re as prepared as possible ahead of time — so that the rubber stays on the road and you and your vehicle remain safe, whatever the weather.
Aquaplaning, what to do if it occurs and how to avoid it
Water on or over the road can cause your tyres to lose traction and you may lose control over your vehicle including the essential actions of braking, steering and accelerating. If aquaplaning does occur, rather than hitting the brakes or making other sudden movements (which invariably makes the situation worse and causes skidding), ease off the accelerator and firmly hold the steering wheel.
Check your tread…
The tread on your tyres can make all the difference to avoiding aquaplaning, which is one great reason why having regular checks of your tyres (and replacing them when necessary) can really pay-off!
Tyres that are worn evacuate less water from the contact patch with the road – which in turn increases the likelihood of aquaplaning occurring and loss of control of the vehicle. Tyres that are roadworthy with a good amount of tread will ensure that if you do hit water on the road, you will give yourself the best chance to avoid aquaplaning and be able to navigate the wet surface more safely.
Choose a quality tyre brand…
Do your research and choose a quality tyre brand which has been tested in all-weather conditions (including the wet). Maxxis tyres are all extensively tested to give you the peace of mind they are up for the task.
A few other tips for driving on rain-soaked roads
Check your windscreen wipers… When you need windscreen wipers in good working condition, you really need them – so don’t wait until it’s raining to do a check!
Drive to conditions… Slow down, put your headlights on and if you need to brake, do it early to give vehicles behind you plenty of warning.
Try to avoid driving through large puddles…You won’t know how deep the puddle is until you’re in it (and it may also be hiding a pothole) – which can add to aquaplaning dangers as well as damage your vehicle and tyres.
Keep the windscreen and rear window clear of fog … Visibility in the rain can be greatly reduced, so use the demister button (or aircon in your vehicle) to make sure your windscreen and rear windows are clear.