Wet Weather Driving Tips

The following information is kindly provided by members of the Guardia Civil based in Torrevieja, Costa Blanca, N332.

Wet Weather Driving Tips:

Weather conditions pose the biggest risk to road users, partly due to inexperience and lack of preparedness, and partly due to changing road dynamics and the driving environment.

Here are our top tips for dealing with the rain

  1. SLOW DOWN. Its easy to be lulled into a false sense of security but speed and adverse weather is a deadly combination. When the road is wet, your vehicle’s tyres cannot grip the road as much as in normal, dry conditions. Cornering and braking are all affected by the water on the road, reducing grip and increasing stopping distances considerably. Slowing down allows more time to adapt and deal with the situation. Ease off the accelerator a little and you will see the difference immediately.
  2. AVOID VIOLENT MOVEMENT/SHARP BREAKING. Sudden braking, acceleration or harsh movements of the steering wheel may result in loss of vehicle control. If the operations are carried out progressively, smoothly and slowly, it also gives other drivers more time to react. Remember that a smooth drive is a safer and more efficient ride under normal conditions and even more so when it rains.
  3. AVOID DRIVING ON ROAD MARKINGS. Road marking provide less grip than the road surface itself and can therefore, increase braking distances. Riders on two wheels should be particularly aware of this problem.
  4. BE SEEN. During rain or reduced visibility, make sure that you have your lights on. Daytime Running Lights may not suffice, especially in reduced visibility where headlights must be used. The timely use of indicators and brake lights is crucial to give other road users advanced warnings of your intentions. Keeping your vehicle under control and following all the advice for a smooth ride will also allow for an improvement in your visibility to other road users.
  5. AVOID AQUAPLANING RISKS. Keep a sharp lookout for puddles, which may reduce the grip of your tyres, potentially creating a liquid barrier between the tyre and road surface, commonly referred to as aquaplaning. However, don’t carry out any sudden movements to avoid puddles. Simply slow down, hold the steering wheel firmly and try to keep your vehicle on a straight and level course. Whilst maintaining an adequate distance from the vehicle in front, it is often beneficial to follow vehicles through such areas as the displacement of water becomes easier.

With these five basic tips your journey through the rain should be much safer. But remember, its not only about how you drive your vehicle but about the vehicle itself. Proper maintenance is crucial. Check tyres and their pressure, lights, windows, brakes and other features regularly to reduce the risk. If in doubt your local garage can check for you.

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