It’s the season for storms, and as usual the country will endure heavier rain, stronger winds, and generally more adverse driving conditions. Weather warnings are in force across some parts of the UK and we can expect to be dealing with further storms in the coming months.
Delay your trip
Is your journey an essential trip? If the weather is really bad and you are dealing with floods and bad visibility, it might be safer to avoid travel at all until you are confident you can make the trip safely.
Plan your journey
Some roads can become really dangerous in bad weather. If you have to make the trip, then plan ahead and try to prepare for any difficulties you might come across.
Give yourself more time to complete the journey. Not only will you need to drive more slowly at certain points, you may have to alter your route if a road is flooded.
Take advantage of any technology that can improve your journey. A good satnav in your van will help you plan your route.
Try to arrange your route along roads that are well-lit by streetlights and that have good drainage to reduce surface water. Narrow country roads should be avoided where possible, as they are easily flooded and are often lined with trees that could possibly fall and block your way.
Maintain a safe speed
We recommend you drive a little slower in the wet than you would in dry conditions. You are more likely to lose grip when there is surface water on the road, especially if you accelerate or brake hard or take a corner at speed. Staying in a lower gear will allow you to maintain better control of your van.
Be aware of stopping distances
Remember your Highway Code. Stopping distances should be doubled when driving in the rain and increased generally in wet weather. Most new vans have a range of safety aids to maintain control in bad weather, but you should remain mindful of your driving conditions.
Be cautious around traffic
In wet conditions, other vehicles will kick up a lot of spray from the road which can obscure your vision. Be careful when following traffic to leave enough room to see clearly.
Also consider overtaking on dual carriageways and motorways. The spray from driving close to large vehicles, either following or passing, will decrease your visibility significantly. Drive carefully, and only overtake if you absolutely must.
Use your lights
Be careful not to keep your van’s full beams on as this can distract other drivers. Avoid using fog lights in the rain, as they can obscure your brake lights.
Watch for puddles
Small puddles may not pose a problem, especially in a modern van with a full suite of driving aids, but larger puddles should be avoided. Driving through deeper water risks losing traction, and there may be hidden obstacles that could obstruct your path. If there is no alternative to driving through a deep puddle, do so slowly and carefully.
Take rest breaks
Driving in bad weather requires more concentration than when it is clear, and this can make driving more tiring. Make sure to rest often and remain alert on the road, and you’ll reach your destination safely and without incident.
Van Ninja’s range of lease vans are fitted with a host of driving aids to help with adverse weather situations, like traction controls and crosswind assistance. Speak to us today to get the best deal on a new van and give yourself the peace of mind that your vehicle will keep you safe in bad weather.