Treachery of sudden summer downpours

Heavy rain after a hot dry spell can make roads treacherous according to the Institute of Advanced Motorists.

And drivers should take extra care when confronted with a sudden summer downpour, the road safety charity says.

IAM chief examiner Peter Rodger said: “Rain after a long period of dry weather makes the road surface extremely slippery.

“A combination of oil, loose gravel and dried rubber all prevent the tyres working efficiently.”

Peter offers the following tips on driving safely in the wet:

l Visibility will be reduced. If you encounter a sudden downpour, slow down to the point where you can stop within the distance you can see to be clear.

l Be aware that puddles and standing water could be hiding a pothole.

l Stopping distances will be far longer than on dry roads. Allow at least twice as much time as usual to stop - at least four seconds.

l Make sure you have plenty of tread on your tyres for optimum grip.

l Replace dodgy windscreen wipers – fresh wipers will help you cope with unexpected showers.

l Keep your windscreen bottle topped up with water and an appropriate screen wash – don’t use washing up liquid, which causes needless smears.

l And if there are warnings of flash floods, ask yourself if your journey is really necessary.