Drivers warned to take care on slippery roads

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Motorists should be warned of the dangers they could face while driving on slippery wet roads. Following a heavy rainfall, roads could prove dangerous and much more slippery than drivers expect.

Drivers often underestimate how dangerous the road conditions become when we’ve had a heavy downpour. Greasy substances, such as lubricants and general debris including tyre rubber and evaporated fuel deposits accumulate until the rain washes it away. But of course it takes a heavy rain fall such as the one we saw yesterday, to loosen the build-up of grime from the tarmac which in turn creates a very slippery surface. This can dramatically impact people’s ability to drive and also affects braking distances and vehicle handling, leading to a much higher risk of accidents.

Before setting off in the car, however short the journey, drivers should check their tyres as well as all lights, to ensure they can see, be seen and stop as safely as possible. The condition of the tyres is extremely important, and they should be checked for correct pressure and legal tread depth. The greater the depth, the more efficient the tyre is in wet weather. Worn tyres are dangerous as the car loses its grip on the road. Check for any signs of damage to tyre walls or wheel rims which can be caused by wear and tear as tyres hit kerbs and large stones.

Mondial Assistance offers advice for wet weather driving

  • Check your tyres are in good condition and inflated to the correct pressure.
  • Replace worn-out windscreen wipers.
  • Be sure your lights and brakes are in good working order.
  • Drive slowly and signal early!  Stopping distances are longer and visibility can be impaired when it’s wet.
  • Drive in the tracks of the car ahead of you but ensure you keep a longer distance in front to compensate for longer stopping distances.
  • Avoid using excessive or heavy braking as much as possible; instead slow down by easing off the accelerator where appropriate.
  • Try to avoid routes liable to flooding and excessive ‘water-pooling’, even major routes are not immune from these hazards.