Here Are Our Wet Weather Driving Tips
Thanks to the typically wet weather conditions in Britain, driving in the rain is something that every driver will inevitably have to do at some point, which can be risky. However, there are some steps you can follow to reduce the chance of an accident and keep yourself safe when driving in rainy conditions. If you’d like to know more, simply scroll down to discover our top wet weather driving tips. Don’t forget, you can keep your vehicle even safer with our temporary car insurance, so get a quote from us today.
1. Reduce your speed when driving in wet conditions
Not only should you respect the posted speed limit if you’re driving in wet conditions, but you should also drive much slower than usual. Wet roads can be extremely hazardous and your car’s reaction time will be a lot slower if it’s raining. Slowing down is key to driving safely in the rain.
2. Avoid using your rear fog lights
It may be tempting to turn on your rear fog headlights, but you should never do this in rainy conditions. Firstly, they can obscure your brake lights and make it hard for drivers behind you to see that you’re braking. Secondly, the fog headlights lights are very bright and may dazzle motorists behind you, increasing the chance of an accident.
3. Turn on your dipped headlights
If you’re driving in the rain and your visibility is severely impacted, other vehicles may not be able to see you very well either. You may need to put your headlights on even if it’s daytime. However, only ever use dipped headlights as the full beam can blind other drivers.
4. Keep up to date with local news bulletins
Before you set off on your journey, be sure to do some research by looking at the forecast and searching for information on road closures and flood warnings. This will avoid any nasty surprises when you’re out and about.
5. Keep an eye out for large or fast-moving vehicles
Not only do you need to focus on your own driving in the rain, but you’ll also need to keep an eye on other drivers. Look out for fast-moving or large vehicles as these can create water spray that will reduce your visibility.
6. When you’re hydroplaning, let off the gas
If you’re driving in wet conditions, aquaplaning, or hydroplaning, is a substantial risk if you’re going through large puddles. Hydroplaning happens if your tyres lose contact with the road, meaning you lose control of the steering wheel. If this does happen to you, stay calm and resist the urge to go faster or slam the brakes on. Instead, slowly ease off the gas until you’ve regained control.
7. Check your windshield wipers before you take off
Always test your windscreen wipers and replenish the windscreen cleaning liquid before journeys, especially long ones. Additionally, make sure you always have enough fuel. The functions you need to use when travelling in the rain, such as demisting or wipers, will use more energy, so make sure your fuel supply is sufficient before you set off.
8. Keep your vehicle’s bonnet closed if you breakdown
If you break down in the rain, the last thing you want is for your car to sustain even more damage. For this reason, always keep your car bonnet closed if you break down, as this will prevent the electrical systems from being damaged by the rain.
9. Avoid heavy braking When slowing down on wet roads, always try to avoid heavy braking. Instead, ease off the accelerator much earlier than you usually would in preparation for stopping. Also, try to avoid using cruise control as it can take your focus off using both the brakes and the gas.
10. Keep your air conditioning switched on Ventilation is essential for improving visibility all around you. The humidity from showery conditions can cause the car windows and windshield to mist up and reduce visibility. Fortunately, good ventilation will prevent this and turning your air conditioning on will help to keep your windows demisted at all times.
11. Avoid driving through standing water Never attempt to drive through standing or moving water. It’s usually impossible to tell how deep the water is just from your car. It only takes water that’s a few inches deep to hide fallen power lines, immobilise your car, or even cause it to float. You should also avoid using quiet back roads as there may be bad flooding in those quieter areas. If you come across a flood, it’s always better to safely turn around when you can and find an alternative route.
Driving in Wet Conditions FAQs
Where can I find a wet weather driving course? If you’d like to find a wet weather driving course, you’re in luck. There are courses available all over the UK, and a quick Google search will allow you to find the ones nearest to and most suitable for you.
What is the recommended stopping distance in heavy rain? Stopping distances refer to how far your car will travel from when you brake to when you are fully stationary. The stopping distance in the rain will be, at a minimum, double the distance it would be on a dry road, making it at least 4 seconds in rainy conditions. However, heavy rain stopping distance will be triple the normal distance, meaning you’d need to allow at least 6 seconds for your car to stop.
What is the safest speed to drive in rainy weather? A good rule of thumb is to reduce your speed by around a third when driving in the rain. For example, if the speed limit is 70 mph, then you should drive at around 46-47 mph.
Is it dangerous to drive with low tyre pressure in the rain? Yes, travelling with tyres that have low pressure is dangerous on dry roads, and even more hazardous on wet roads. If you ignore the tyre pressure and continue to drive, you increase the risk of your tyre blowing. This can make you lose control of your car, putting yourself and other cars in danger.
Final Thoughts on Driving in Wet Weather
Making use of all the advice in this guide can help you to drive safely in the rain, we also have a guide on night driving tips. Remember, slowing down, keeping your focus on the road ahead, and keeping up to date with flood warnings are all simple ways of keeping yourself and other road users safe in the rain.