10 Helpful Tips For Driving In The Rain

The storm clouds are rolling in, the humidity has become unbearable and the thunder is roaring just minutes before you need to jump in the car and head home. As you get outside, the rain begins to pour down and your clothes soak through as you scurry to your vehicle. Is it safe to drive in these conditions? How can you prevent ending up with a damaged car and risking your life on the wet, busy roads?

At Sell Your Damaged Car, we’ve been in the business of helping owners of accident-damaged vehicles get back on the road safely since 2018. So, ideally, before you are faced with driving in the rain, we recommend ticking the following boxes:

  • Check your tyre tread and pressure
  • Ensure that your headlights, indicators, hazards and fog lights are working
  • Make sure that your windscreen wipers are in good, working order and able to adequately clear your vision
  • Check that your air-conditioner is operational so that you can clear up windows if they fog up on the road.

Now that you’re ready to hit the wet road, please observe the following safety measures:

#1 Reduce your speed

Whether it’s bucketing down or drizzling, it’s important to always slow down in wet weather conditions and prioritise arriving safely at your destination instead of saving time.

Reducing your speed helps you to fully assess situations on the road in order to make informed decisions. It also gives you more time to stop if necessary and avoid skidding.

The faster you drive, the larger the distance you will need in order to stop. Wet weather conditions more than double the distance required for stopping in comparison to driving on a dry road because tyres have less grip on the road.

Rather arrive a few minutes late than end up with a damaged car by cutting corners in wet conditions.

Car wheel driving through the rain
#2 Avoid sudden, harsh braking

Wet, slippery road conditions make it more difficult to brake due to a loss of traction between the tyres and the road. This is particularly challenging when braking suddenly or at high speeds, which can lead to skidding or loss of control.

Instead, slowly put your foot on the brake early to avoid skidding.

#3 Increase your following distance

Make sure that there is enough space between your car and the vehicle in front of you in order to react to any unexpected situations.

An ideal following distance in dry conditions is a 3 second gap. This should be doubled to 6 seconds in wet weather.

This will also help you to avoid being sprayed with water by the car ahead, enabling you to have a clearer line of sight.

Car break lights shining through rain spluttered windscreen
#4 Avoid pools of water

According to the Automobile Association, aquaplaning occurs when the tyre tread is no longer able to channel water away and the tyre lifts off the road surface and begins to skim across the water like a speedboat. (A rather scary prospect).

Fact: Potholes can also masquerade underneath these puddles, causing untold damage to your car.

#5 Make yourself visible

Rainy and stormy weather is often accompanied by reduced natural light, even during the daytime.

It is therefore vital that you turn on your headlights (or fog lights, if you have a newer vehicle) to ensure that other motorists and pedestrians can see you.

#6 Keep your shoes dry

Driving while wearing wet shoes can be dangerous. Invest in a good quality rubber mat to dry off your shoes before you put your foot on the accelerator.

#7 Avoid driving in the outer lanes

Where it has been raining hard for a long period or in areas where there is poor road drainage, driving near the edge of the road or in the outer lanes can increase your chance of hydroplaning.

Where possible, rather opt to drive near the middle of the road to lessen your chances of driving through pools of water.

Man drving through heavy rain with low visibility
#8 Avoid cruise control

Cruise control is often seen as a luxury that makes long road trips easier (in addition to reducing your traffic tickets), but cruise control can be dangerous in wet conditions.

Why? Because cruise control locks you in at a set speed so you have less time to reduce your speed and you will need to hit your brake in order to regain control of the car (and prevent a damaged car).

Play it safe in wet conditions and opt to have as much control of the car as possible.

#9 Keep a firm grip on the wheel

Poor weather calls for a heightened sense of caution and vigilance. Keep phones, tablets and other gadgets out of reach, turn down your radio volume and focus intensely on the road ahead. Keep both hands on the steering wheel so that you can be in as much control of the vehicle as possible.

#10 Pull over and wait if necessary

Driving in drizzly or moderate rain conditions is not very scary, but driving in stormy conditions with heavy downpour or even hail makes visibility very poor.

In such a scenario, rather call your boss, family member or friend and let them know that you’ll be running late (before you get into the car).

It’s better to arrive a few minutes late than with a damaged car, or worse, not arriving at all.

If you are already driving and the conditions suddenly become unbearable, find a safe place to park (out of harm's way) and wait for the storm to pass.

Drving through heavy rain with low visibility
Got a damaged car? SYDC can help

Rainy weather is often the ‘perfect storm’ for road accidents. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, accidents happen.

If you’ve ended up with an accident-damaged car and don’t know what to do, Sell Your Damaged Car is here to help you.

We offer free towing, handle all the paperwork and ensure you get the best cash price for your damaged car (whether it’s running or not).


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