Driving in heavy rain

Here are some useful tips to help you prepare for wet weather.

Driving in heavy rain

If you must drive, there are a handful of steps you can take to reduce your chances of an accident or breakdown in wet weather.

Is your journey essential?

If so then plan your journey in advance, taking care to avoid areas which are prone to flooding, and factor in extra time to allow for slower speeds and potential congestion. It is also a good idea to let relatives and friends know your intended route and expected time of arrival and where possible, travel with others  


Before you go:

* Check that your windscreen wiper blades are fully functional. If both front and back blades are not up to scratch, get them replaced.

* On an older vehicle, it might be advisable to upgrade to so-called ‘aero’ wipers, which are more effective at removing water from the windscreen, particularly at speed

* Try to fill up with fuel before you travel, as getting stuck in traffic will increase your fuel consumption - Remember, with the lights, heater and wipers switched on, your fuel economy will be reduced even further

* Listen out for local news bulletins to keep up-to-date with road closures, flooding and forecasts

* Carry a mobile phone in case you encounter any difficulties during your journey

* Check that your tyres are of the recommended legal tyre tread depth so you can be sure you have a safe amount of grip on the roads.


How to drive in heavy rain

* Reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front as stopping distances in rain are increased 

* Use dipped headlights so that other drivers can see you more easily

* Don’t use rear fog lights.

* Look out for large or fast-moving vehicles creating spray which reduces visibility

* Keep your air conditioning on, as this will stop your windows from misting up

* Listen out for local news bulletins to keep up-to-date with road closures, flooding and forecasts

* If you break down in torrential rain keep the bonnet closed while waiting for help to arrive, to avoid the electrical system getting soaked

* Driving too fast through standing water could lead to tyres losing contact with the road.  If your steering suddenly feels light you could be aquaplaning. To regain grip, ease off the accelerator, do not brake and allow your speed to reduce until you gain full control of the steering again

* Driving fast through deep water can cause serious and expensive damage

* Be considerate to other road users and try not to spray pedestrians and cyclists as you drive through water

Heavy rain may lead to large puddles, areas of standing water and even flooding in the event that you may have to negotiate these types of conditions on the road, read below for our advice on how to drive through deep puddles.

Stopping distances in the rain

The Highway Code states that stopping distances will be at least double in wet weather, because your tyres will have less grip on the road. Reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front to account for greater stopping distances

How to drive through water and floods

“Puddles” may conjure an image of a small drop, but some can develop into sizable bodies of water. Driving through these puddles incorrectly could cause serious damage to your car not to mention cost an extortionate amount to repair.

Information Source: Courtesy of the RAC

Firework Safety

Excel EMS, October 2019

As winter approaches there are many festivities to look forward to which feature fireworks such as Halloween, Bonfire Night, Diwali, New Year and Chinese New Year.

Its important that we enjoy the celebrations in a fun and risk-free manner.

around 1,000 people visit A&E with a firework related injury in the four weeks around November 5th alone

many more use home first aid or visit a GP with injuries sustained as part of the celebrations

We have put together this information to ensure you and your loved ones stet safe.

Join the #CoolCoolCool campaign

The most common injuries are burns, debris in the eye from the bonfire or from fireworks and smoke inhalation as well as sprains and strains from tripping in the dark. 

Therefore it makes sense to stock up beforehand with the following:

* well-equipped first aid kit

* bucket of sand to put out fireworks safely, easy access to plenty of water and a fire blanket

* sterile saline to irrigate eyes if sparks are blown into them.

Minor Burns

If someone is burnt and the affected area is larger than the size of the casualty’s hand, neck,  head,  face, chest or genitals you should phone for an ambulance immediately.

Hold the affected area under cold, running water for at least 15 minutes or until cool. #CoolCoolCool

Special care should be taken if the burn is on a young child or an elderly person. All deep burns of any size will require urgent hospital treatment.

Once the burn has been cooled (don’t forget for at least 15 minutes - #CoolCoolCool) it can be covered with cling film, a burns dressing or if the burn is on a hand, it can be inserted into a sterile plastic bag (never rush to dress it - cooling it is much more important!)

All burns should be assessed by medical professionals.  


If your clothing is on fire 

Remember STOP, DROP, WRAP and ROLL

Stop the person whose clothing is on fire from panicking or running – any movement or breeze will fan the flames causing them to spread.

Drop the casualty to the ground

Wrap them in a blanket, coat, or rug.
Ensure they are made from inflammable fabrics such as wool.

Roll the casualty along the ground until the flames have been smothered.  

If needed, treat any burns - #CoolCoolCool


Severe burns

A severe burn exposes the casualty to a greater risk of infection, hypothermia and shock.

Dial 999 or 112 for an ambulance

Start cooling the burn immediately under cool running water. Use a shower or hose if the burns are large. Keep cooling the burn while waiting for professional help to arrive.  #CoolCoolCool

The area should be cooled for at least 15 minutes.

Ensure you are cooling the burn and not the casualty – keep the casualty as warm and dry as possible.

Make the casualty as comfortable as possible, if showing signs of shock, lie them down and elevate their legs.

Whilst cooling, remove any constricting items (the area may swell), such as jewellery or clothing, from the affected area unless they are stuck to the burn. Wear sterile disposable gloves if they are available.


* touch the burn

* use lotions, ointments and creams

* use adhesive dressings

* pop or puncture blisters  



Smoke inhalation 

If someone’s inhaled smoke fumes and it is causing difficulty breathing:

* Move them away from the smoke so they can breathe fresh air.

* Help them sit down in a comfortable position and loosen any tight clothing around their neck to help them breathe normally.

* Assist them in taking their asthma medication if indicated.

* If they don’t recover quickly, call 999/112 for an ambulance.  



Eye injuries 

It is possible for debris and sparks from the fireworks to land in the eye and cause extreme discomfort. Always wash your hands thoroughly or wear sterile gloves before touching the affected area.

Open the casualty’s eye and look carefully.

If there is anything embedded in the eye, cover both eyes and phone for an ambulance.

If you can see an object moving freely in the eye, use sterile eyewash and gently irrigate the eye to remove it.

Seek medical advice if the casualty is still in pain or discomfort.



It is strongly advised that everyone attends a practical or online first aid course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.

Firework Safety