Tips for driving in heavy rain

The devastating floods across the UK have already seen holders of motorhome insurance policies putting in claims for vehicles damaged due to flood water inundating their vehicles, and insurance companies are now extolling drivers to take the greatest care when driving in severe weather conditions.

Of course if a journey can be avoided when severe weather conditions are around then by all means put it off, but modern day living and the meteorology of the UK means most of us have to drive in heavy rain at some time. However, this doesn’t mean we can’t be prepared. Before starting a journey in adverse weather conditions it is always best to set the heater and climate control buttons appropriately, you will need a clear windscreen at all times and misting can easily compromise your vision just when you need it most. Keep your eyes on the road at all times, it may sound obvious but total concentration will make you drive the vehicle more smoothly which will help negotiate any possible obstacles.

Most modern motorhomes have cruise control which is a great asset on long journeys, however, on very wet roads they can be a problem if the vehicle starts to aquaplane, and it is advisable to turn off cruise control as soon as you encounter heavy rain. When driving through roads immersed in water do not set off if another vehicle is traversing the hazard from the opposite direction, and don’t set off at all unless you can see dry land at the other side. Drive slowly when negotiating the flooded road but never take your foot off the accelerator, if you do water may access your exhaust pipe and you will have big trouble. When you do get to the other side of the hazard test your brakes gently several times when it is safe to do so, enabling them to dry out before you really need them.

Drive slower than you would in normal conditions and remember that stopping distances will increase on saturated roads, always be aware of pedestrians and cyclists and for this reason you should have your headlights on and windscreen wipers on their fastest setting until conditions ease.

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