Whether it’s sprinkling or pouring, driving in the rain can be stressful and dangerous. Wet roads impact the way your vehicle handles and heavy rain can add hazards (like falling rocks and trees) and reduce visability significantly. After a long dry spell, roads build up grease and oil which becomes extremely slippery upon first rain. Flash flooding brings a whole set of new challenges.
At some point, every driver will find themselves having the face the various challenges associated with driving in the rain so we’ve put together a few tips to make sure you’re better prepared.
What’s aquaplaning and what to if it happens
Aquaplaning (also known as hydroplaning) happens when when a layer of water builds up between a vehicle’s tyres and the surface of the road beneath. The tyres can no longer grip the road and the water pressure causes your car to rise up and slide. Aquaplaning can be made worse by poor tyre condition and high speed.
What does it feel like? Well, you might start to feel revving and the steering might feel light. You could also experience ‘fishtailing’, which is when the back end of the vehicle drifts from side to side. It’s a scary experience and can often lead to a crash.
If you find yourself aquaplaning, don’t try and brake suddenly as this may lead to a skid. Keep your cool, gradually ease your foot off the accelerator and hold the steering wheel straight (in the direction that the front of your car needs to go). Once the car starts to to gain control you can gently begin to brake to bring your speed down.