Expert tips to stay safe on the roads following West Yorkshire's torrential rain
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Ambulance callouts in the UK peaked in January 2022, with many calls likely due to dangerous weather conditions, with a call coming to 999 nationally every 33 seconds.
National Highways UK have shared advice, encouraging drivers to adjust driving behaviour and to take extra care even in light or moderate rain as both can have an impact on visibility and vehicle performance.
In response, automotive experts at Claims.co.uk have provided their top tips on journeying during heavy rain and what to do if you get involved in an accident.
Preparing to drive
When preparing to drive in wet weather ensure the journey is essential; avoiding travelling in the rain is the best way to keep safe during these adverse weather conditions.
Check headlights and brakelights before each journey to ensure good visibility for you and others and ensure windscreen wipers are working as mud can stick to the windscreen and inhibit vision.
Also, ensure tyres fit the legal tread depth to account for adverse surface conditions.
If a car become stuck due to the weather conditions, having a selection of items in the boot of your car can be critical to your safety. High visibility jackets, a small spade, de-icer, torch, first aid kit, water and snacks, and some warm blankets are all recommended items to keep in the car just in case.
Driving in wet conditions
1. Go slow, your speed should be significantly lower during heavy rain; this can give you more time to react in case of an accident.
2. Keep your distance, doubling the highway code space between cars can prevent accidents.
3. Share your journey with friends and family. That way, they know where you are at all times and can assist if you get into difficulty.
4. Schedule ten extra minutes into your journey time before you leave. This way, you can check your tyres, windscreen wipers, and lights are all in working order.
5. Watch out for large bodies of water; Losing control of your car can cause serious incidents. Watching out for deep water and fallen leaves can help prevent your car from aquaplaning.
What to do if involved in an accident
Primarily, seek medical attention if required and find somewhere safe, out of the way of oncoming cars or potential dangers.
If the vehicle has a problem, or there’s trouble on a motorway, stay calm and try to exit at the next junction or motorway service area.
Utilise a first aid kit if one is kept in the vehicle or get a passenger to assist. If injuries require further care, call for the correct emergency services.
Also make sure to take pictures at the scene of the incident, providing evidence and potential details of whoever is involved.
Finally, get in touch with an insurance company. Lodge a claim at the earliest convenience, and they’ll help to get back on the road.