No journey on the road is the same. Traffic volumes will differ on each journey, road works could be present along a stretch of road or there may be diversions in place. You could be driving along an unfamiliar road, or travel along a route you’ve done a thousand times before. But, one element which can dramatically change your journey and the way you drive is the weather.

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Weather of all kind can impact on road conditions and should play a part in the manner of your driving. Sunshine, hail, snow, ice, wind and rain can all impact the level of visibility, the conditions of the surface of the road and impact how long it could take you to react to a hazard or come to a stop.

As today is National Umbrella Day, we would like to take this opportunity to remind you that driving in wet weather offers its own set of potential hazards and by taking the wet conditions into account and adjusting your manner of driving accordingly will contribute to the safety of yourself and others whilst travelling on the roads.

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The RAC have published some useful tips on how to drive safely in wet weather, which include:

  • Slow down. Reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front as stopping distances in rain are increased
  • 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
  • Look out for large or fast-moving vehicles creating spray which reduces visibility
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  • Keep your air conditioning on, as this will stop your windows from misting up

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  • 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 the bonnet closed while waiting for help to arrive, to avoid the electrical system getting soaked
  • Driving too fast through standing water could lead to tyres losing contact with the road. If your steering suddenly feels light you could be aquaplaning. To regain grip, ease off the accelerator, do not brake and allow your speed to reduce until you gain full control of the steering again
  • Be considerate to other road users and try not to spray pedestrians and cyclists as you drive through water

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If we drive according to the road conditions we will all be playing our part in keeping our roads safer. No matter how short or familiar the journey, the weather can offer a host of potential hazards and by making the safe choices, we can make every journey safer for everyone.