The UK is renowned for its wet weather all year-round and according to a new report from the Met Office, British weather is not only getting warmer, but is seeing fewer dry spells and longer wet spells than ever before.
Therefore, as always, it’s important that transport managers prepare their fleets for wet driving conditions as it can be particularly hazardous. At the moment, this is a 3% increase from 2019 to 2020, but could represent the start of a worrying trend.
What is the impact of wet driving conditions on road safety?
The wet weather prevalent in Spring can have a huge impact on road conditions and, therefore, road safety. Teletrac Navman’s road safety dashboard, which collects data from the Department for Transport report, gives fleet managers timely information on the types of conditions their drivers will experience and therefore the risks they will be exposed to. For example, when the road surface is covered with water over 3cm deep, the accident severity rate increases to 30%. having this information to hand, gives fleet managers the opportunity to plan alternative routes in order to keep drivers and other road users safe.
With wet driving conditions having such a hazardous effect for drivers, here are some practical tips transport managers can remind their drivers of:
When driving in rain, it’s vital that drivers do everything in their power to increase and maintain visibility. This includes turning on headlights so that other motorists can see you, as well using your windscreen wipers to aid with your own vision. It’s important to ventilate your vehicle too as rain causes humidity levels to increase resulting in foggy windows.
- Maintain your distance
Stopping your vehicle will be more difficult when driving in the rain, taking longer to stop with increased breaking distance , so it’s important to maintain several car lengths between you and the vehicle ahead.
Motorists should also avoid heavy braking as rain reduces the grip between tyre and road surface. Instead try to reduce speed by taking the foot off the accelerator earlier to slow down for a smoother driving style.
- Watch your speed
It is recommended that when driving in wet conditions, motorists should drive considerably slower due to the change in road surface.
- Prepare for hydroplaning
Where it is safe to do so, motorists should aim to manoeuvre around standing water by changing lanes or safely steering around such areas. However, when this is not possible, drivers should take their foot off the accelerator, grip the steering wheel tightly and brake gently to avoid hydroplaning
Transport managers should also harness the valuable insights provided by data to inform their decision making when their fleets face wet driving conditions.
Those who have visibility of their fleets via telematics can change routes or modify schedules to avoid potentially hazardous conditions and help circumvent delays and disruptions. Additionally, fleet management software enables transport managers to monitor driver behaviour and performance in wet weather. Monitoring harsh braking or sharp cornering, which can be dangerous in wet weather conditions, can help managers advise on driving behaviour and improve driver safety. Vehicle cameras can also be helpful in providing insights into driver behaviour, as well as providing evidence if an accident should occur.
As a global specialist in fleet management software, Teletrac Navman understands how leveraging data can help transport managers improve safety for road users when faced with adverse weather conditions, such as excessive rain in the Spring months.
For more information, visit the new dashboard: https://www.teletracnavman.co.uk/data/uk-road-safety-data-dashboard