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 Wet Weather Driving Tips

Driving in Rain
Photo by Jakob Rosen on Unsplash

The blog this week is about driving in wet weather safely. Breakdown calls always increase during periods of wet weather, as the damp causes problems with your vehicles' engine and electrical systems, particularly in older vehicles. If you must drive, there are a handful of steps you can take to reduce your chances of having an accident or experiencing a breakdown. Read on to find out more:

Many rain-related breakdowns are easily avoidable as they are often caused by people driving through deep standing water. While cars have improved significantly in technical terms in recent years, they are still not waterproof and will break down if they are driven through deep water. This can lead to catastrophic engine failure which will be extremely expensive to put right. A catastrophic flood-related engine damage incident is typically caused by water being sucked into the engine which causes the engine to lock up and can in turn damage important engine components including piston connecting rods and valves. If this happens to you a new engine will have to be fitted - which is incredibly expensive (sometimes more than the car is actually worth - do you have the money to replace your engine or replace your vehicle?). It is the owner who is likely to have foot the expensive garage bill unless they can demonstrate to their insurer – like any accident – that it was not their actions that caused the damage.

Before setting off:

  • Consider whether your journey is essential. Can it be delayed until after the rain has subsided? However looking at the weather forecast over the next 7-10 days there is a high probability of rain every day – typical over the festive period!
  • Plan your journey, taking care to avoid areas which are prone to flooding, factor in extra time to allow for slower speeds and potential congestion
  • Let relatives and friends know your intended route and expected time of arrival and where possible, travel with others
  • Check that your windscreen wiper blades are fully functional. If both front and back blades are not up to scratch, get them replaced at your local independent garage
  • Make sure you have a full petrol tank - sitting in traffic will use petrol!. Using your lights and heaters mean you use more fuel too!
  • Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged and with you in case you encounter any difficulties during your journey

On the road:

  • Use dipped headlights so that other drivers can see you more easily
  • Don’t use rear fog lights. They can mask your brake lights and dazzle drivers behind you
  • Adjust your speed to your driving conditions and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front to account for greater stopping distances in the wet – remember the two-second rule
  • Stay back from large or fast-moving vehicles which create more spray which reduces your visibility
  • Listen out for local news bulletins to keep up-to-date with road closures, flooding and forecasts
  • If you break down in torrential rain keep your car bonnet closed whilst you are waiting for help to arrive, to avoid the electrical system getting soaked
  • Driving too fast through standing water could lead to your tyres losing contact with the road. If you find that your steering suddenly feels light you could be aquaplaning. To regain grip, ease off the accelerator, do not brake - allow your speed to reduce until you gain full control of the steering again. Poor tyre condition will make this situation worse - keep your tyres in good order.
  • Driving fast through deep water can cause serious and expensive damage to your engine - if you must drive through deep water do so slowly - however its best to avoid the situation altogether
  • Be considerate to other road users and try not to spray pedestrians and cyclists as you drive through water - deliberately doing so will result in a fine and possible points on your license - don’t do it - its really not funny! Safe Motoring Folks!

Here at ACC UK Ltd, Winners of The Motor Trader Independent Garage of The Year 2015, 2019 & 2020,  The Inspire Customer Service Excellence 2016 Award, The Eagle Radio Customer Focus 2017 Business Award, The Workshop Magazine Workshop Manager of the Year 2017 Award, The LiveWire Excellence In Vehicle Servicing 2019 Award and The Aftermarket Excellence Award for Best Website 2019, The Eagle Radio Biz Award – Entrepreneur of the Year 2020 & the SME News Magazine Most Trusted Car Servicing Provider 2020, we pride ourselves on offering an outstanding customer experience for a fraction of the cost of a dealership. Give us a call and let us quote you for your next service or repair on your Volvo or Toyota. We service all areas around Farnborough, Fleet, Aldershot, Farnham, Guildford, Frimley, Camberley, Hook, Sandhurst, Crowthorne, Yateley, Hampshire and Surrey. We offer free collection and drop off services. We also have a fleet of courtesy cars to allow you to get on with your schedule whilst your Volvo or Toyota is with us. Happy Motoring from all at ACC UK Ltd – Independent Volvo & Toyota servicing, repair and MOT specialists based in the heart of Farnborough, Hampshire.