Driving in wet and windy conditions

When the Met Office forecasts wet or windy conditions, motorists are advised to take extra care on the roads and to watch out for fallen trees and other debris.

Keith Wheeler, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service's road safety manager, said: "Check local traffic reports to see if the route is clear before you make your journey, and avoid travelling during the worst of the weather if you can.

"Take great care when driving while it’s still dark in areas that you know have flooded or been affected by severe weather on previous occasions, and please don't ignore diversion and road closure signs."

Driving tips during wet and windy weather

  • Keep well back from the vehicle in front. This will increase your ability to see and plan ahead.
  • Be alert to the danger posed by debris, including branches and slates, that may have blown into the roadway.
  • You must use headlights when visibility is seriously reduced. Rain and spray from vehicles make it more difficult to see and be seen.
  • Remember, wind rarely blows steadily, and a sudden gust can catch out even the most experienced driver.
  • High-sided vehicles are most affected by windy weather, but strong gusts can also blow a car, cyclist, motorcyclist or horse-rider off course. This can happen on open stretches of road exposed to strong crosswinds, or when passing bridges or gaps in hedges.
  • In very windy weather your vehicle may be affected by turbulence created by large vehicles. Motorcyclists are particularly affected, so keep well back from them when they are overtaking a high-sided vehicle.
  • Take extra care around pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse-riders.
  • Stopping distances on wet roads will be at least double those on dry roads because your tyres have less grip on the road.
  • Steering becomes unresponsive when water prevents tyres from gripping the road. If this happens, ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually.
  • Don't attempt to drive through water that is more than a few inches deep. The water is often deeper than it looks and may be moving quite fast. Your vehicle may be swept away or become stranded.