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MY CAR

Driving in the rain: hints and tips

1 February 2022

We’ve all driven in wet conditions at some point — or we will, sooner or later.

The key to a safe drive is to prepare both yourself and your car, so you can tackle the wet conditions with concentration and awareness. This can include anything from searching your route prior to leaving, to checking for road closures or hazards, to ensuring your air conditioning is regassed in time for storm season. 

 

Road conditions

Watch for oil slicks on the road

When the weather is dry, oil slicks, grease and other motor liquids can collect on the road. These are especially dangerous when it rains, as the water combines with the oil and makes for a very slippery surface.

Keep an eye out for aquaplanes and other water traps

Aquaplaning is when water accumulates on the road too quickly for your tyres to push it, so the tyres lose contact with the road surface – causing your car to slide. There are a few ways to manage this, depending on your car and its safety accessories, but generally speaking it’s best to smoothly remove your foot from the accelerator and only gently brake. If you slam on the brakes, you might lose control of the vehicle even further. Make sure to keep an eye out for large areas of water and flooding – if it’s flooded, don’t risk it. 

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Driving tips

Do a pre-drive check

Regardless of the weather, it’s always a good idea to do regular checks on your car. This could include checking things like your tyre wear, your brake pads, your windshield wipers and even whether your air conditioning is working correctly. Not to mention that an unroadworthy car could potentially impact your insurance cover in the event of a claim.

Double your distance between cars

Driving in slippery conditions can mean that it takes longer to brake, making your brakes less effective in emergency situations. Make sure to give plenty of space!

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Turn your lights on for visibility

In wet weather, it’s often hard to see your surroundings. Turn your lights on to increase your visibility to others, and make it easier for yourself to identify hazards or cars around you.

Avoid sudden braking or accelerating

It’s difficult to brake or accelerate quickly in wet conditions — and doing so can cause your vehicle to spin out, lose traction and could potentially cause an accident. Make sure to keep your movements smooth and consistent for those around you, and for your own safety.

Lower your speed

It’s never a bad idea to ensure you slow down when driving in heavy rain. Visibility will be lowered and braking will be more difficult in wet conditions. Make sure to lower your speed to suit the cars around you and the speed at which you’re comfortable.

Use your air conditioning

Air conditioning can defog windscreens, which helps you see your surroundings while driving. Use your dehumidifier — that is, the air conditioning — to keep your windshield clear and easy to see through. 

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Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Read the Product Disclosure Statement  before making a decision about  this insurance. Go to suncorp.com.au for a copy. The Target Market Determination is also available. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. The information is intended to be of a general nature only. We do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss incurred as a result of reliance upon it – please make your own enquiries.