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.
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.
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!
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.
- How to protect your car from hail and storm damage
- Tyres: signs of wear and what they mean
- 4 safe driving tips even seasoned drivers forget
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The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.