Navigating wet roads can be a dangerous task for motorists. So much so that close to 30% of road fatalities are due to wet roads and poor visibility! And with large areas of the country currently experiencing wet weather, it is important to re-familiarize ourselves with some safe driving techniques to keep ourselves and others safe on our roads.
Here are 10 defensive driving tips to ensure safe travels in wet weather:
When driving on wet roads, the road grip on your tyres drops dramatically, reducing control and making simple actions such as braking potentially dangerous. Slow down and increase the space between you and other drivers to cater to the wet conditions.
TURN ON YOUR HEADLIGHTS
Turning on your headlights will increase your visibility while also making it easier for other vehicles to see you.
CHECK YOUR WIPER BLADES
Wiper blades that are in a poor condition can greatly reduce your ability to see clearly while driving in the rain. This is why it is important to make sure they are in working order before heading out in rainy weather. If you find yourself in a situation where a downpour is making it extremely difficult to see, then rather pull over and wait for it to pass.
CHECK YOUR TREAD
Your tyres are essential to safe driving on wet roads and a worn tyre can lose as much as 90% of its road grip in wet weather! Be sure to check the tread on your tyres and that they are in a roadworthy condition to handle the wet roads!
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR POTHOLES
Wet weather not only causes potholes but also makes them harder to spot and hitting a pothole at speed can do serious damage to your tyres and rims. It’s also a good idea to have a Tyre Insurance policy in place to protect you from the expensive tyre and rim repair/replacement bills due to damages caused by road hazards. Click here to find out more.
AVOID DRIVING IN OUTER LANES
Water tends to pool in outer lanes and driving through a pool of water on wet roads can cause your car to start aquaplaning. Try to keep to middle lanes when possible and if you do start to aquaplane, keep calm and slow down by easing your foot off the accelerator and avoid turning your steering wheel.
AVOID BRAKING SUDDENLY
Keep an eye on what is happening in front of you so that you can avoid having to brake suddenly. Slamming on brakes can cause you to go into a skid and lose control of your vehicle. Rather try to control your speed by taking pressure off your accelerator and using your brakes lightly and as little as possible.
AVOID FLOODED AREAS
Flooded areas should be avoided at all costs when possible. Driving through an overly flooded area can be very dangerous and can result in a potentially life-threatening situation. Rather stop and find an alternate route.
SLIPPERY WHEN WET
Watch out for slippery oil patches. If you do hit a slippery patch, don’t panic, don’t brake suddenly. Steer through and slowly take your foot off the accelerator like you would if in an aquaplane.
TAKE YOUR TIME AND STAY FOCUSED
Driving in the rain requires patience and focus. Avoid distractions like looking at your phone and changing the radio station. Take your time and arrive at your destination safely.
While following these tips is a good way to ensure road safety, accidents do happen, and it is important to have the right insurance in place. Click here to find out how you can get up to 15 comparative insurance quotes for your car today!