Tips for Driving in Heavy Rain

To be a good driver you need to understand that the weather will change the way you drive. You can’t always drive in perfect conditions so you need to be able to adapt accordingly. Heavy rain often causes issues for new and learner drivers. It hampers your visibility and makes the roads themselves more hazardous.

If you want to ensure you stay as safe as possible while driving in the rain, you need to follow these tips.

Use Your Windscreen Wipers

Yes, it’s a basic tip but it is still crucial. Your wipers will clear up your windscreen and provide you with the visibility you need to see where you are going. Make sure you take some time to learn about your car. In particular, you need to know how to activate the wipers and the various settings available to you. Spend some time experimenting and understand when you need to turn the wipers on at full power, as opposed to when you can have them just wipe away water occasionally.

Set Your Heaters

The rain can make your windows mist up quickly, which will again hamper your visibility. As a general rule, you want to avoid mixing heat with the humidity caused by the rain. Make sure your heaters are set properly before you set off. Getting part way into your trip only to find your windows have started misting up can lead to an accident.

Larger Stopping Distances

Water on the roads reduces how well your tyres can grip the surface. This is especially true when you are driving through a puddle. Understand that your stopping distance will increase as a result of this. Stay extra alert and react to hazards quickly to keep yourself and others out of danger. You should also increase the gap between your car and the one in front, in addition to beginning your braking slightly earlier when you are approaching traffic lights.

Drive Slower

You also need to reduce your driving speed to account for the larger stopping distances. Slower driving offers you more chance to react to emerging situations. It also ensures you can bring your car to a halt quicker if need be. Of course, you should stick as close to the speed limits as possible, even in wet conditions. Just make sure you use your judgement and go a little slower, especially on congested roads or roads where hazards occur more frequently. Also, avoid taking corners or driving around bends at high speeds.

Beware of Hydroplaning

Your car may hydroplane when you drive over water. This is when the wheels lose contact with the pavement and your car is essentially driving over the surface of the water. While common at high speeds, it can even happen at 35mph. If you find that your vehicle is less controllable, gently ease off the accelerator. In many cases, you will find that slowing the car down brings the tyres back down to earth. If this doesn’t work, apply the brakes slowly. Be aware that you will not be able to steer as you normally would in this situation, so stay calm.