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    • Drivers urged to take extra care as further torrential rain predicted

2 January 2007

Drivers urged to take extra care as further torrential rain predicted

With motorists anticipating traditional icy conditions after the festive break, initial relief that January has so far been one of the warmest on record has quickly changed to concern over hazardous driving conditions caused by torrential rain. And with further rain predicted throughout January, and a third of fatal accidents recorded on wet or flooded roads, Autoglass is warning motorists to take extra care.

Nigel Doggett, managing director at Autoglass says: “Changeable weather not only creates hazardous road conditions, it also affects vision. Heavy downpours greatly reduce driver visibility and can often be sudden. The problem is worse on busy roads and motorways where the spray from HGVs and LGVs can significantly impair a driver’s view.

“At this time of year, motorists may be expecting icy and freezing conditions. However with a warmer than usual start to the year, it seems driving in torrential rain is the new winter hazard. Motorists need to be aware of the dangers, and drive accordingly.”

Reduced visibility caused by heavy rain is worsened by old and worn wiper blades. Worryingly, a third of the population drives with ineffective blades, creating an additional – and unnecessary - danger in wet weather. Autoglass advises motorists to replace wiper blades annually to ensure maximum visibility. A good supply of screen wash is also essential to ensure road spray made up of oil and dirt can be washed away successfully for a smear free windscreen.

To stay safe on the roads, Autoglass advises drivers to slow down and be aware that stopping distances in the rain are more than double those required in dry conditions. By exercising a ‘four second rule’ behind other vehicles, motorists can give themselves ample braking distance, while reducing speed will also lessen the risk of skidding or aquaplaning.

The combination of low winter sunshine and rain spells real danger for motorists so it is vital that drivers ensure they are prepared when they start any journey. Sunshine can reflect off water on the road and can create a glare which could distract drivers and reduce visibility. Motorists should ensure their windscreen is clean and wear sunglasses if necessary.

Before any trip, it is also worth checking the windscreen for chips as these can cause additional driver distractions.

Autoglass has produced six top tips to help motorists stay safe on the roads during wet weather conditions:
• check your wiper blades
• fill up on screen wash
• double your stopping distances
• slow down
• beware low winter sunshine
• repair any chips

To help motorists keep their vehicles in top condition, Autoglass offers free windscreen vision safety checks at its branches located across the UK. The service includes checking the windscreen for chips and assessing the condition of wipers. If the wipers are in need of replacement, Autoglass can supply the new blades, which will be fitted free by an expert technician.

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