WITH a month's worth of heavy rain falling today and another wet weekend ahead, if you're in a car over the next few days you'll be making full use of your windscreen wipers.

If you have to hit the road, we have dug out some tips from the RAC for driving in heavy rain and flooded roads as well as handy guide for demisting your windscreen in 'double-quick time'. 

All you need is a can of shaving foam....

Before you go:

  • Check that your windscreen wiper blades are fully functional. If both front and back blades are not up to scratch, get them replaced.
  • On an older vehicle, it might be advisable to upgrade to so-called ‘aero’ wipers, which are more effective at removing water from the windscreen, particularly at speed
  • Try to fill up with fuel before you travel, as getting stuck in traffic will increase your fuel consumption - Remember, with the lights, heater and wipers switched on, your fuel economy will be reduced even further

How to drive in heavy rain

The Highway Code states that stopping distances will be at least double in wet weather, because your tyres will have less grip on the road.

Reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front to account for greater stopping distances - remember the two-second rule?

Well increase it to four if it begins to pour.

Other tips from the RAC include: 

  • Use dipped headlights so that other drivers can see you more easily
  • Don’t use rear fog lights. They can mask your brake lights and dazzle drivers behind you
  • Look out for large or fast-moving vehicles creating spray which reduces visibility
  • Also remember to keep your air conditioning on as this will stop your windows from misting up

What to do if there's a large puddle in the road

Driving too fast through standing water could lead to tyres losing contact with the road. 

If your steering suddenly feels light you could be aquaplaning.

To regain grip, ease off the accelerator, do not brake and allow your speed to reduce until you gain full control of the steering again

Runcorn and Widnes World: Drivers negotiate the flooding at Parkside Road

What to do if the road has flooded

The RAC suggests you should 'size up the water first' – if you suspect it’s too deep, or you can't be sure, always find another way to your destination.

A spokesman added: "Modern vehicles’ door seals are good and keep water out, but this can make a car buoyant, meaning it could begin to float if the water gets too deep leaving you stranded.

"Once you’ve confirmed you can drive through the puddle, keep your vehicle in a low gear (second is generally adequate) and engine revs up.

"This will help you maintain momentum when you travel through the puddle, creating a bow wave so you don’t get bogged down.

"Once you exit the other side – and especially if the puddle is on the deep side – pause for a moment if you can to let any excess water drain away and flow back to where it came from.

"It’s always worthwhile gently brushing your brake pedal on exit, creating some friction and therefore heat to evaporate off any excess moisture."

My car windscreen is always misting up...what can I do?

The RAC has produced this handy guide and also have a neat trick involving shaving foam.

Runcorn and Widnes World:

A spokesman added: "A windscreen cleaned with shaving foam will be less likely to mist up.

"It's a little trick ice hockey players use to stop their face masks from steaming up when they're on the ice."

How to do it....

  • Take a clean towel and place a dollop of shaving foam onto it.
  • Wipe the windscreen with the towel, spreading the shaving foam over the entire surface.
  • Then take another clean towel and wipe off the shaving foam completely.

This protective barrier should help stop your windscreen from misting up, but it will need to be regularly reapplied to continue to work.

You can find more demisting tips from the RAC by clicking here