Most drivers I’m sure would prefer driving in dry conditions to driving on wet roads. Some drivers I’ve spoken to are actually slightly scared of driving when it’s wet and rainy. Or that could be anyone who’s been a passenger in my car while I’ve been driving in the rain! Rain brings its own challenges, but if you’re in a vaguely modern car, rain need not pose any more problems than dry. Here are my tips for wet road driving:
Before we begin, don’t forget that MotorKwirks will find you a car, in record time. Call us today, put your feet up, and we’ll find your next car for you. If you refer a friend to us, you will get 10% of their fee as well.
Do Not Panic
This is the first mistake that people make. Being successful in the rain is all about being smooth and considered with the car’s controls. We have less grip at our disposal so we need to handle it with care. Rash steering movements and heavy pedal movements will just land us in a hedge. But if we can apply progressive inputs in everything we do, we will likely be just fine. Depending on rain levels and tyre choice, you might get up to around 70% of the grip compared to the dry. Given how most people don’t (and shouldn’t) systematically drive at the limit, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Brake It Up
If you are getting into your car after a rain shower, consider gently applying your brakes at low speed, as you set off. If your have disc brakes on your car, this will wipe off the surface rust and the layer of water. Once they are off, when you next need to apply the brakes properly, you won’t end up having an embarrassing accident because they will actually work. Think this is rubbish? A few years ago, Mercedes actually fitted this ‘brake drying’ option to some of their high end cars, ensuring that they could always stop in any circumstances. Which is reassuring.
Tyres Are Key
One of the reasons we are likely to be fine in the rain if we’re smooth is because today’s tyres are excellent. Assuming we have been paying attention to other posts on here and not bought the cheapest tyres possible, that it. A good set of tyres will grip for much longer than most drivers push. I don’t (yet) have particularly good tyres on the Mondeo yet (they’re on their way). But even the reasonable ones I have don’t give me any reason to believe I will end up in trouble. A solid set of tyres can make all the difference.
Oil Will Spoil
Oil patches have felled many a motorcyclist. Luckily, unless you’re in a Caterham, we are unlikely to fall out of our cars when we slip on a dodgy liquid. Looking out for a rainbow effect on the road is the main giveaway that all is not well. Avoid the patches, especially on the driven wheels of your car. Spinning up and losing control is tricky enough to deal with when it’s warm and dry!
Keeping a safe distance is not only a good guide for being able to brake in time, but also to avoid spray. Anyone who has ever driven behind (or anywhere near) an articulated truck in the rain will appreciate this. The spray might give the front of your car a good clean. However, what’s the point if you immediately crash it afterwards from not being able to see? Stay back, stay safe, and get the soapy sponge out when you get home.
Have I succeeded in my quest to reassure you that wet driving is not all treacherous? Is there anything that you think I should add? This is certainly less risky than riding a bike in the rain. If you’re sensible, and vaguely awake, rain driving should be a simple case of turning on the wipers and carrying on as normal. As always, get in contact, and let us find you a car that’s right for you. Thanks for reading!