This makes driving at this time of year very difficult and because flooding can occur you should take extra care on the roads this winter as problems can quickly arise if you are not careful whilst out driving. These are some simple tips to look out for and consider if you have to drive in the rain.
The main thing to consider is whether you have to make you’re journey or not, and if you don’t have to leave straight away, you could opt to wait for the rain to die down before heading on your way. If you have to leave straight away then try and stick to main roads as these tend to be safer and are less likely to flood than smaller country roads due to the drainage systems in place. Check or listen to the news and traffic updates for any reported accidents and roads that you should avoid. Make sure you have is a fully charged mobile phone so if anything happens you can call for assistance.
If driving during or shortly after heavy rainfall, you need to have your wits about you and watch your speed. If you see a flooded area you should only attempt to drive through it if you have to and you know how deep it is. This may be difficult to measure if you don’t know the road and you haven’t seen another vehicle pass through but don’t be pressured to make a snap decision if other drivers are behind you. Water that comes past the bottom of your door is hazardous as it can seriously affect the car engine performance as well as causing other serious damage.
Stalling in water is dangerous and you could end up needing someone to tow you out if the car becomes submerged. If you do drive through a flooded area then do so in first gear and drive steadily. After you have got through the area then pull over as soon as possible to make some checks on your vehicle.
Look for any obvious scratches, bumps or anything loose, check the interior and the upholstery and if anything is damp then dry it out properly and get them cleaned to avoid a nasty musty smell in the vehicle. Check the engine oil and transmission fluids, insert the dipstick and see what colour it comes out. If it comes out a beige colour and a lighter colour then water has probably entered and you need to get looked at as soon as possible by the nearest mechanic.
The most important check you should make after driving through water is your brakes. The break discs can become wet and ineffective with exposure to excess water – without hurtling off on your way, test them at low speed when it’s safe to do so, to ensure they are working properly. It is important to give your car a full check which may include a trip to the local garage to get an experts opinion. Take care this winter when driving as conditions can be very tricky.
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