As we all know, in the middle to late 1950s the UK and indeed the rest of the World were permanently bathed in glorious, sepia tinged sunshine. Obviously being Britain we didn’t really enjoy this as it was just a little too hot and there was not enough rain to keep the well manicured lawn from going an unsitely shade of beige. This was clearly unacceptable and not how things should be done. 

To compensate for this the 1960s behaved themselves for a time but the decade of free love was certainly not perfect weather wise. It’s difficult to preach peace and love if it’s too hot, too windy or too cold, which it often was. 

So what hope did the 1970s bring? Misery, misery wearing flares, hideous and not something we won’t to focus on. Ok so some of you will be contacting MotorMartin asking about that legendary summer of 1976. Simple, it was too hot for us on this beautiful island, we do enjoying queuing at stand pipe, or anywhere really, but we don’t enjoy collecting water in a bucket. 

The 80s then, big hair, big shoulder pads, aggressive, horrible people, rubbish weather. 

Now MotorMartin doesn’t remember much of the 1990s as this coincided with moving out of home, University, a 2.0L Laser Capri followed by a 1.6i Ghia Orion. Weather, no idea, cars? Bloody marvellous. 

And then we had the 2000s with what felt, to MotorMartin, like summer had forgotten quite how to behave and it’s this that has continued up to now. The weather has gone especially crazy up here in Bradford, West Yorkshire recently. We’ve had days with hail, snow, bright sunshine and torrential downpours all in a couple of hours. Crazy times. So the point of this preamble?

With wet weather engulfing the UK today and what seems like the last month or so, IAM RoadSmart looks at how drivers can best prepare for driving in heavy rain and have shared best practice with MotorMartin.

Richard Gladman, head of driving standards has informed MotorMartin of the following simple tips that every driver can follow to minimise the potential dangers of driving in the awful weather we’ve had recently and will, no doubt, continue to have.

*Before setting off, check for any weather alerts, traffic updates or planned road closures that may affect your journey. Only travel in extreme adverse weather conditions if it is really necessary.

*Check the lights and windscreen wiper blades are clean and working properly. Also check the tyre pressure and tread depth to ensure the best possible grip on wet surfaces.

*Plan your route in advance and try to avoid any roads that are prone to flooding, even if it extends your journey.

*Heavy rain often leads to damaged road surfaces and puddles can hide deep potholes – look for clues such as loose chunks of tarmac.

*In heavy rain, don’t forget to switch on your dipped headlights so other motorists can see you easily. Reduce your speed when travelling in the rain to decrease your stopping distance. This will also help you pass through large puddles and potholes smoothly, without spraying other road users or risking aquaplaning.

*Torrential rain may interfere with the electrics of a vehicle causing a breakdown. Prepare for the worst by keeping your mobile phone charged and with the number of your breakdown service provider already saved on it. While you wait for help keep your bonnet closed as soaking the engine will only make it worse.

So there you are, a few simple hints and tips that we can all follow to minimise the risk of having an accident whilst driving during this recent terrible weather. MotorMartin will certainly be following the above advice.

Where will you go?

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