Are you ready for the rain? The weather is getting colder, and that means it’s time to check your tyres. Here are some tips on how to prepare your car for winter driving conditions.
Tyre safety is essential because there could be problems when driving during wet or icy weather conditions if they aren’t in good condition. Ensure that you have wiper blades in good working order so that visibility isn’t impaired whilst driving through rain or snow. If water can seep into the windshield cracks, then other drivers won’t see any hazards ahead of them either. It’s also helpful to clear out all other windows on your vehicle before taking a journey too!
Why Does the Rain Make a Difference?
When driving, we all notice the difference the weather can make and rain is no exception. Coursing both standing water and wet surfaces, rain can be far more dangerous than people think. Additionally, when roads are wet, this will conceal any other liquid such as oil or grease, both of which can be extremely dangerous. Finally, rain can have a vast impact on your visibility. Heavy rain can reduce visibility to only a few metres in a matter of seconds and this can be made even worse on motorways where the spray from other vehicles can impact, even after the rain has passed.
One of the most important things to check on your tyre when driving in the rain is your tread. Many people think the tread is insignificant; however, your tyre’s tread is designed to funnel any water away from your wheel and allow the tyre to maintain contact with the road. When you have little or no tread, you can aquaplane, which is further explained in this article. The legal limit for your tyre tread is 1.6mm, allowing your wheel tread to drop below this could result in a fine of up to £2,500.
Your tyre pressure is just as crucial as your tyre tread. Anyone who has experienced a flat tyre understands that driving on a flat tyre is almost impossible. Having an over or under-inflated tyre also dramatically impacts both the level of control you have and the efficiency of your vehicle. You must check your tyre pressure regularly. Additionally, your tyre pressure can change dramatically between the summer and winter months due to the temperature change.
What is Aquaplaning?
Many people assume that aquaplaning is something that can only happen to fast sports cars. Although faster cars are more likely to aquaplane, all vehicles are at risk during wet weather. Aquaplaning is when your tyres cannot move the water out from under your wheel quickly enough, allowing your tyre to ride on a thin layer of water. The layer of water offers almost no friction and so very little if any control. There are a few key factors that determine how likely aquaplaning is. Firstly, if you have little or no tread on your tyres, you are significantly more likely to aquaplane. Secondly, the wider your tyre, the more water your wheel encounters and the more likely you are to ride up onto a layer of water. Finally, the faster you travel, the easier it is for your tyres to be overwhelmed by water and aquaplanes.
Consider your Stopping Distance
One of the most significant causes of accidents during wet weather is people being unable to stop due to standing water in the road. For this reason, it is vital that during wet conditions, you allow for the additional distance required to stop. The highway code recommends that you allow double the normal stopping distance during wet conditions and reduce your speed to allow for the reduction in visibility. Finally, it is important that you only drive when you feel comfortable and if weather conditions become too extreme you should find a safe location to pull over and wait for the weather to pass while ensuring that you’re not a danger to other motorists.
Other Winter Checks
There are many things you should bear in mind when driving in the winter months. Some of these are easily done yourself, such as checking your fluid levels and ensuring you have enough fuel. While you can also arrange winter health checks for your vehicle. Finally consider keeping a winter weather kit in your car, this could include a phone charger and thermal blanket.
We all know that good tyres are essential for our safety on the road. But what about when it starts raining? If you have a set of new tyres fitted, they should be ready to go in any weather condition. However, if your car has been driving around with an old and worn-down tyre, then there is a chance this will not perform as well during wet conditions – so it’s worth checking whether or not yours need replacing before winter sets in!
Autoking offers competitive prices on both new and used tyres from brands like Michelin, Continental and Pirelli, who provide everything from budget-priced pneumatic to high-performance sports models – we can help find the perfect one for you!