Driving in stormy weather can be pretty stressful, and it can get dangerous if extra care isn’t taken.
Sometimes we have to hit the road in heavy winds and rain, though – no matter how much we’d love to stay cosy indoors.
Here’s how to do it safely ⛈
Before you head out on the road in bad weather, give yourself the best chance of avoiding trouble.
Here’s our top tips for driving safely in bad conditions:
So you’re in the driver’s seat, you’ve prepared properly for your trip and you’re ready to go. Now what?
Here’s our advice for driving safely in heavy rain:
Don’t forget: The Highway Code says stopping distances double when the roads are wet. So that means the usual two second rule for stopping goes up to four seconds.
Windy out? Here’s our tips for driving safely in strong winds:
(Pssss: What about cold weather? We have a whole separate guide for that 😌. Check out our tips on driving in snow and ice.)
First thing’s first: you should always avoid driving through big puddles or flood water.
Driving through water that’s a foot or more deep can be dangerous.
You can lose control of your car, and there’s no way of knowing what lies under the flood water (like potholes, loose drain covers, and other harmful stuff).
Driving through deep water can also damage your car’s engine and electrics.
So if you spot a flood on the road ahead, take another route – even if it adds time onto your journey.
What is aquaplaning?
However, sometimes it’s impossible to spot deep water before you hit it.
If this happens, you might start aquaplaning (this is sometimes called hydroplaning).
This is where there’s too much water between your tyres and the ground, making them lose their grip on the road. When this happens, you might not be able to steer, break or accelerate.
You’ll know you’re aquaplaning because your steering will feel light – kind of like your car is gliding.
What to do if you start aquaplaning
If you start aquaplaning, you should:
If you need to make a car insurance claim because of something that happened in bad weather, just follow the same steps you normally would.
Check out our big Cuvva guide to car insurance claims for everything you need to know.
Bad weather doesn’t affect your car insurance.
Just because it’s stormy out, you should be treated the same as if it were a bright, clear day.
Insurers do make a big deal about something called ‘contributory negligence’, though.
In other words, if they can prove you did something really careless, they might not pay out.
Driving in a storm wouldn’t be classed as really careless. That’s just a normal part of life.
But if you, say, drove deliberately into a flooded area where there was a warning in place, your insurer might think differently.
If they can prove you were reckless, they might not pay out for damage. It all depends on how much you’re to ‘blame’.
If your car gets flooded while it’s parked in its usual place, for example, your insurer should pay out (if you have a comprehensive policy).
Don’t forget, if you have third-party, fire and theft insurance, you won’t be covered for accidental damage anyway.
You can read about the different types of car insurance cover here.
What about if there was a weather warning?
Weather warnings shouldn’t affect your car insurance, either.
If you have a comprehensive policy, you should still be covered for accidental damage if you drive during a warning.
Staying safe should always come first, though.
Don’t forget the golden rule: you must be insured before hitting the road in any weather.
Cuvva can help you get sorted - and quickly! We have short term insurance from as little as one hour, with no nasty tie-ins, hidden fees, deposits or interest. Get a quick quote here.