How to stay safe in the wet

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Road safety charity the IAM is offering motorists advice on driving in heavy rain, following the Met Office issuing amber warnings of torrential rain.

IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger said: “A suddenly very wet road surface increases the chances of slipping when braking or steering, which is a problem not just for motorists, but cyclists and motorcyclists too.

“When driving in wet conditions remember that stopping distances will increase, and visibility will be reduced. Drop your speed and give yourself more time to slow down.”

In cases of severe flooding, you should reconsider making the journey at all. If it is unavoidable, and you have to drive through deep water, the IAM recommends drivers take the following precautions:

Drive on the highest section of the road and don’t set off if a vehicle is approaching you

Leave time and space to avoid swamping other cars and pedestrians

Drive slowly and keep going once you have started – make sure you have a clear run. In a manual car, keep the revs high by “slipping the clutch” (which means the clutch is not fully engaged) all the time you are in the water

If you can’t see where you are going to come out of the water, such as when approaching flooding on a bend, think twice about starting to drive into it

In deep water never take your foot off the accelerator, as this could allow water to travel up the exhaust pipe

Once you’re out of the water, dry the brakes before you need them. The best way is to lightly apply the brake as you drive along for a few seconds, after checking nothing is following you too closely.

To help drivers stay safe and enjoy their driving this summer, the IAM has a new website, drivingadvice.org.uk, with traffic updates, weather forecasts, and driving tips, including: driving abroad, cycling, coping with Olympic congestion, and loading the car for a long journey.