wet roads

There are lots of positives to having sunny weather on most days as we do here in Brisbane, but there are always some negatives. Long, dry spells with water restrictions were part of living here during the long drought. Gardens suffered, ornamental fountains and waterfalls were devoid of water and young people who first obtained their driver licence at the start of the drought rarely drove in prolonged wet weather.

When the drought was broken by the prolonged torrential rain that preceded the 2011 floods, there were many hundreds of young drivers who had never driven in those conditions. Accidents caused by not driving to conditions were reported every day around South East Queensland. Thankfully, most of them were minor.

Driving safely in wet weather is a skill that responsible drivers must have, and that requires understanding the changed conditions, a few smart hints from experienced drivers and a well-maintained vehicle. This is particularly important for hire vehicles where having all services up to date is essential to customer safety. Driving a rental vehicle from Alpha in wet weather means the customer is in a reliable and safe vehicle.

Wet Roads no Place for Speed

Speed is a major factor in wet weather accidents, with drivers still driving to the speed limit, which is set for perfect conditions. It is no surprise that the first hint is to slow down. Rain mixes with the oil and grime already on the road making it slippery. Braking suddenly under these conditions can easily cause the vehicle to skid. Driving slower allows more of the tyre’s tread to hug the road surface, giving better traction and reducing the risk.

Knowing how to handle these unexpected situations is the second hint. Do not slam on the brakes, or pump them up and down if the vehicle has an anti-lock braking system (ABS). Instead, apply firm and constant downward pressure on the brakes and steer the vehicle in the direction of the skid. The third hint would be to find out what type of braking system is on the vehicle before driving it, and how to respond in this situation.

Make allowances for the extra distance the car will travel after the brakes are applied on a wet road. Leave at least two car lengths between your vehicle and the one in front. If the rain becomes so heavy that it obscures the road ahead, pull well off the road and wait it out. Keep headlights and hazard lights on to alert other drivers.

Our road conditions can be a challenge for people unfamiliar with them, like those who use hire cars. Thankfully, they can be assured that if their vehicle was hired through Alpha Car Hire, it is well serviced, safe and reliable.