By: Andy Newbound
As the recent squally weather has shown us, wet weather driving can be scary and unpredictable. Yet do you realise that one of the biggest hazards to drivers in heavy rain is puddles? That’s right - PUDDLES!
I don’t usually get spooked by puddles. Yet last night, the rain was so heavy and the roads were so dark and wet that it became almost impossible to spot which parts of the road were covered by standing water. As a result, at around 6pm yesterday evening, I drove through a deep puddle at 30mph.
My brakes completely failed
Luckily, I avoided an accident but I was shocked to find that my brakes struggled to work for several more minutes. Just as worrying, my power-steering temporarily went on the blink too, and the remainder of my journey home was disturbing and stressful.
So why had driving too fast through a puddle had such an effect on my car?
Well actually, I escaped pretty lightly. It turns out that getting water in my brakes and power-steering mechanism was nothing compared to what could have happened.
Driving too quickly through a deep puddle –
even one as shallow as 6 inches deep
– can have a cataclysmic impact on your car. If water gets inside your car’s engine it can cause thousands of pounds of damage and you could end up needing a total replacement. I guess I was very lucky.
Finding this out reminded me just how dangerous driving in wet conditions can be. So I thought I’d do a little research and ask around Stoneacre HQ for some advice on staying safe in wet conditions. These are our top-ten tips:
- Stopping distances are longer in wet conditions. The standard two-second rule (two seconds between you and the car in front) needs to become the four-second rule - increase it to four if it begins to pour
- Watch out for spray! If you see a large vehicle ahead, get ready to deal with a large amount of spray by switching the wipers to full speed
- When condensation begins to build up, turn on your air-con or heater fan - this will stop your windows from misting up.
Make sure your air conditioning is working properly.
- In heavy rain, pools of water can gather on the road and aquaplaning can become a serious risk. If this happens, gently ease off the accelerator. This slows your car and lets the tyres grip the road again. NEVER BRAKE!! And avoid trying to steer - you could lose control
- Don’t use cruise control on wet roads. You need to be able to react quickly if your car starts to aquaplane and cruise control stops you doing this
- Never try driving through water that’s as high as your car’s exhaust pipe - anything deeper than six inches, or four inches if the water is moving
- Go slowly - speeding through the water will create a bow wave that will rise up towards the engine and exhaust pipe
- Never take your foot off the accelerator, as this could allow water to flood your exhaust pipe
- Use first gear and slip the clutch (keep it partly engaged) to keep revs high. This reduces the chance of water getting into the exhaust
- Once clear of the water, dry your brakes by lightly applying them when it’s safe.
I hope this helps. Please let us know is you have any helpful tips for wet weather driving that you want to share. And if you’re still unsure, you can always pop down to your nearest Stoneacre dealership and get your car winter-ready – we have some
Please note we record all our calls to ensure that we give you the service you deserve.
We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners
who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of
their services. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use this website.
Some of these cookies are essential, while others help us to improve your experience by providing
insights into how the site is being used. For more detailed information on the cookies we use, please
*Your browser is currently set to 'Do Not Track' and therefore some options have been disabled. Please adjust your browser settings to enable these options to be chosen.
The website cannot function properly without these cookies, and can only be disabled by changing
your browser preferences.
These cookies allow our website to remember information that changes the way the site looks or behaves,
so that you can personalise your experience.
We use statistic cookies to monitor page traffic on our website. This information enables us to improve
the website for visitors.
Social cookies allow us to track visits from our social pages and may be used to target adverts based on your social media preferences.
These cookies allow us to understand general customer behaviour and track where you have visited from,
which allows us to monitor the success of our marketing campaigns.
Cookies are small text files that can be used by websites to make a user's experience more efficient.
The law states that we can store cookies on your device if they are strictly necessary for the operation of this site. For all other types of cookies we need your permission.
This site uses different types of cookies. Some cookies are placed by third party services that appear on our pages.
Your consent applies to the following domains: www.stoneacre.co.uk
Cookies are used to analyse web site traffic and are commonly used on the internet to make your browsing more efficient by remembering your preferences and tailoring its operation accordingly. Please be aware that cookies do not harm your system.
These cookies do not give us access to any personal information and although most webs browsers allow cookies they can be turned off if you wish by using your “help” facility. This may prevent you taking full advantage of our web site.