With the weather we’re currently receiving in Newcastle and the North East we thought it would be good idea to cover driving in heavy rain and flooded areas in this months news article.
One of the biggest dangers of driving in heavy rain brings is a condition that is known as aquaplaning. This is caused when drivers go too fast in wet conditions and hit a patch of water on the road surface.
The tyre is unable to expel the water and a layer of water builds up under the tyre separating it from the road causing the vehicle to float across the road surface, which as you can imagine is very dangerous. When this happens your steering will feel very light, similar to when you hit black ice, and you will lose control over your vehicle.
You should avoid braking, steering and accelerating as these can negatively affect the vehicle and force you into a skid.
The correct procedure is to ease off the accelerator and when the car has slowed down your tyres should regain grip. On faster roads this can be a real hazard and is one that more experienced drivers will have encountered.
There are ways to help prevent this happening. Select good quality tyres that have plenty of tread, or even better have winter tyres fitted over these months. The more tread you have on your tyres means a bigger amount of water will be expelled by the tyre.
Although it sounds like common sense you should always drive at slower speeds and keep your distance when the weather is poor.
Flooded roads are also a big danger. If you drive too quickly through a flooded road this will cause water to come up into the engine components and cause the car to cut out.
Our advice is keep your speed down, try and use the centre of the road as the water is usually at its highest points at the sides of the road. If you can, check the depth of water before you do decide to drive into it.
Are there any markers like bollards which could be used to indicate how deep the water is, are other cars driving through it.
Try and keep your revs high as when you lift off the accelerator this can suck water into the engine which can prove to be a very costly mistake.
The best advice we can give you is use common sense when driving in this kind of weather and if avoidable, don’t drive in it at all unless you have no choice.