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Tips on driving in the rain

As the summer sun gives way to the familiar cloudy skies of autumn, the weather once again is taking a turn for the worse. For drivers, this means that road conditions are becoming more dangerous, so caution needs to be exercised. Here are some top tips from Allianz Your Cover (www.yourcoverinsurance.co.uk) for driving safely in the rain.

Insurance - Rain is cited as a top cause of accidents every year, so before you go for a spin on wet roads, make sure you’re covered in case anything happens.

Check the levels – Your tyres are your greatest ally in keeping your car on the wet road. Check the pressure, making sure it’s correctly inflated. It’s also wise to check headlights, brake lights and taillights, as well as oil and battery levels before you set off.

Avoid aquaplaning – where the water at the front of your tyres collects faster than your tyres can push it away – can cause your car to lose contact with the road, making it prone to skidding. The best ways to reduce the risk of this happening are: to check your tyre tread, ensuring it has sufficient depth; and by driving in the tyre tracks left by the cars in front of you, avoiding any sudden turns or sharp braking.

Exercise caution - Driving distances on wet roads can be at least double of those on a dry road, so keep well back from the vehicle in front – around two car lengths or more. Also, the slower you go, the more control you will have over your vehicle’s steering, so slow down where you can.

Easy on the brakes - Braking can cause skidding due to the reduced grip, so wherever possible, take your foot off the accelerator rather than hitting the brakes to slow down. Be gentle on your clutch and steering.

Light up - Rain can reduce visibility, so even if you are driving in the day time, it’s a good idea to turn on your headlights so others can see you.

If it gets too heavy, stop! - Torrential downpour can be too much for your windshield wipers to deal with. If your vision is obscured by the sheer volume of water hitting your screen, then pull over and wait until it dies down.

Stay alert - As we’ve said, driving in the rain requires extra care and attention, so if you are feeling at all fatigued, pull over in a safe area and rest. And if you can avoid your journey, or put it off until later, it’s a good idea to do so.

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