Car – Driving in bad weather: You should pay attention to this in heavy rain

Never brake abruptly, because the same applies here as with steering: the full braking forces of the front wheels are initially not transmitted at all, when the tires are in contact with the ground again, the braking is even greater, which can quickly lead to rear-end collisions. Incidentally, vehicles with all-wheel drive are no safer, because they also lose grip in the event of aquaplaning. By the way: Anyone who thinks that nothing can happen thanks to modern assistance systems is wrong. If the tires lose contact with the road, the electronic aids such as ESP also lose their effectiveness.

Signs of aquaplaning

Signs often indicate the danger of aquaplaning, for example a speed limit with the addition “in the wet” or the traffic sign “risk of skidding or slipping”. If the spray from the person in front sprays high or the water rushes loudly through the wheel housing, these are further indications. This is also indicated by foam in the pools of water.

Aquaplaning is particularly common under bridges, in curves, depressions and ruts. Anyone who notices a spongy feeling in the steering wheel or a brief spin of the drive wheels when crossing lane markings should also expect aquaplaning.

Good visibility is particularly important

Anyone caught in heavy rain should not forget to ensure good visibility, in two respects. First of all, you have to see well for yourself. To ensure that the view to the front remains or becomes clear and to prevent the windscreen from fogging up, the heating/air conditioning and blower should be turned up and directed into the air vents towards the windscreen. On the other hand, you should make sure that you can be easily noticed by other road users. So please be sure to turn on the headlights. If you are driving in automatic light mode, you should check whether the system has already reacted to the deteriorated visibility and switch on the light manually if necessary.

Danger from wind do not underestimate

If there are strong winds in addition to the rain masses, drivers of high-mounted vehicles such as SUVs, vehicles with trailers or light vehicles must pay particular attention to strong crosswinds. These can occur suddenly and move a vehicle. These can occur especially before crossing a bridge or driving through forest aisles. If there are still trees along the way, you have to watch out for falling branches or even falling trees. Information signs with a gust of wind symbol indicate possible dangers of cross winds.

What you should consider in town

There are also dangers in urban areas in the event of heavy rain. Here you have to reckon with pedestrians who, looking for protection from the rain, suddenly cross the road without paying attention to the traffic. If you can, you should avoid underpasses. A lot of water can quickly accumulate here if the sewage system is overloaded. If too much water gets into the engine compartment when driving through, the electronics and engine can be damaged – with expensive consequences for the owner.

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