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Driving in the rain can often slow the driver’s reaction time, diminish visibility and wet the brakes which could all have devastating consequences when on the road. Motorists are urged to take simple steps to ensure their cars are prepared to deal with hazardous wet weather conditions with simple solutions.
Tyres are fundamental in the rain and are what is used to help the vehicle grip the road in wet and slippery weather conditions.
After long summer drives and autumn getaways, many motorists will have worn down their tyre tread depth before winter sets in.
Tyre tread is the grooves on the outside of a tyre that pushes plumes of water away from the car and helps it to grip in slippery weather.
Low tread depth increases a vehicle’s risk of sliding, spinning or aquaplaning. This is when the tyres refuse to grip at all on the road surface and the car uncontrollably slides.
Tread depth is also a legal requirement and any motorist caught with tyres below the minimum 1.6mm tread could be stopped by police officers.
Authorities have the power to issue mega £2,500 fines for each tyre which is below the minimum target which could leave some cash-strapped motorists with £10,00 fines in an instant.
Motorists will have limited visibility in wet weather conditions as water and spray hit their car windscreen.
Road users are urged to keep a safe distance from cars in wet weather to allow more time to notice any changes in traffic in front and allow time to bring the car to a steady stop.
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The Highway Code states stopping distances should be at least double in wet weather conditions so motorists should keep at least a four-second gap.
Visibility can be increased by changing windscreen wipers to fresh blades or by purchasing various sprays which prevent mass water buildup on your windscreen.
Driving through deep water will cause the brakes to become damp and moist which will reduce their impact severely.
Motorists are advised to make sure they touch their brake pedal a few times after clearing a patch of deep water to help evaporate any water and return to normal use.
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In very wet conditions, dipped headlights should be used so other motorists can see you easily on the road.
Headlight bulbs may burst with regular use in the dark winter months and motorists must regularly update these to ensure no sudden nightmares when on a long journey.
The Highway Code states headlights must be used when visibility is seriously reduced and from half an hour after sunset to an hour before sunrise.
Reduce the speed
The easiest thing to do in wet weather conditions is simply to slow down and make sure the car is not travelling faster than it should be.
Driving quickly over a puddle or area of standing water can cause your vehicle to aquaplane as motorists lose complete control of their cars.
Previous analysis from car insurance company Churchill revealed thousands of motorists admit to not slowing down in wet conditions.
A massive 55 percent of motorists across the 27,000 vehicles analysed revealed they would not slow down if rain was light.
The survey also revealed 15 percent would not slow down even in heavy rain conditions which can become dangerous with excessive speed.
Don’t be an idiot
According to the AA, just an eggcup of water could be enough to completely seize or destroy an engine which would lead to an expensive repair bill.
Motorists are urged to take caution in wet conditions and should use their judgement to weigh up the conditions.
Don’t drive through a large plume of water unless you are sure how deep it is. Larger amounts of water can make a car buoyant and begin to float which could lead to destructive consequences as water enters the front grille.
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