Dangerous Driving Conditions - Wet Roads
It is well documented that diving in the rain can be significantly more hazardous than driving in the dry. The problem is that as we all recognise, accidents result in costly car insurance claims that can lead to a significant increase in the following year's car insurance premium. So what are the hazards when driving in the rain and what methods can we employ to help us avoid these hazards?
Visibility - when driving in the rain a driver's visibility is greatly reduced. This is due to the overcast conditions, spray on the roads and the rain in general. Reduced visibility can increase a motorist's chance of accident and can increase their car insurance premium as the result of collision with another motorist. There are many ways to help you increase your visibility on a rainy day on the UK's roads:
Wipers - by setting your windscreen wipers to the correct speed you can ensure that you will be able to get the maximum visibility possible for the conditions. This can greatly increase your reaction times and lead to cheap car insurance through the retention of your no claims bonus (NCB).
Headlights - When there is rain there are clouds, this can cause a reduction in light and therefore visibility of the driver. By putting on your headlights during a rain storm you can increase your visibility of the road ahead. By turning on your headlights you can also make other motorists aware of your road position and help reduce your risk of accident.
Control - During wet and rainy conditions your control of your vehicle can be effected dramatically. The road becomes very slippery and greatly reduces the grip of your tyres to the road, with this in mind you should try and avoid sudden sharp breaking. Obviously you can't control having to break in an emergency situation but by increasing the room that you give to other motorists you increase your reaction time and can help reduce excessive breaking. Water on the road can also reduce your control of the vehicle by the process of aquaplaning. Aquaplaning occurs at high speeds where a layer of water is trapped between the tyre and the road surface leaving the driver with no control over their braking or speed. By reducing your speed in the wet you can significantly reduce your risk of aquaplaning, accident and an increase in your car insurance premium through accident.
Standing water - The final problem to look at is that of standing water on the roads during heavy rain storms. Not only does this water pose a threat through aquaplaning but passing through deep standing water poses the threat of breakdown to the motorist. When encountering deep standing water evaluate the depth to see if you will be able to pass. If the depth is low enough pass through the water in first gear at a low steady speed with enough revs to prevent stalling and breakdown. If you can avoid passing through deep standing water do so.
In closing, if we all took a little more time in the wet and gave other motorists a lot more room increased stopping distances associated with the wet wouldn't be so much of an issue. By slowing down and being more observant we could all benefit from cheaper car insurance premiums through a reduction in accidents associated with wet road conditions.