How to Drive Your Rental Car in Stormy Weather
At this time of the year, it’s not just ice and snow that can make life miserable for motorists: Wet and stormy weather can quickly limit your visibility and make driving not just more difficult but even dangerous. Whether you are driving a hire car or your own, here our tips on what to do if you get caught in extreme weather:
Before you head out in severe weather, check the forecast and consider whether your journey is really that important. If bad weather strikes while you are out, don’t be afraid to turn back or pull in somewhere safe until the worst of it subsides.
A rain storm is at its most dangerous when it strikes first. The rain mixes with dirt, oil, and spilt fuel on the road to make conditions extremely slippery, reducing your tyres’ grip on the road. Keep your speed down to improve your maneuverability.
Keep your headlights on during the day. This will ensure other motorists see you more clearly, as well as enhancing your own vision.
Make sure your wipers are working properly and keep all glass clear by demisting before you set out. Turning on the AC with the temperature set high will clear condensation quickly. In extreme downpours, however, your wipers will be unable to deal with the volume of water, so just pull over and wait it out.
Keep Your Distance
Keep a generous distance between you and larger vehicles. Remember that the bigger the vehicle, the bigger the tyres, and the more overwhelming the deluge of water that could hit your windscreen. Remaining distant from other vehicles also gives you more time to stop.
Keep scanning the road for other road users, animals, or broken-down cars. When overtaking or turning, watch out for other cars that may not have their lights on.
Driving Through Water
If you cannot determine how deep running water is, find another route. Cars have been swept off the road in just inches of rapidly moving water. If the water is still, drive slowly, but once the water reaches the foot of your doors, turn back. If your exhaust pipe is low, avoid reversing, as this could push water into the engine. Avoid aquaplaning by slowing down when you see water on the road. Make sure to test and dry your brakes after driving through water: Press the brake pedal gently while driving at about 10mph for roughly 100 metres.