Tips for Driving In the Rain
Wet weather driving can be dangerous, especially for inexperienced or learner drivers. Following these tips next time it pours can make the experience less stressful.
1. Stay Alert
Always pay attention to where you are going and be mindful of the vehicles around you. Watch out for pedestrians, motorcyclists and road users that may be challenging to see in the rain.
2. Ensure You are Visible
Driving in the rain becomes complicated because of limited visibility, particularly at night. Turn on your headlights so that you can see other motorists and be seen. Remember to always wipe dirt from your headlights, turn signals, taillights and brake lights before you head out.
3. Avoid Driving Through Puddles
It is difficult to know how deep a puddle is. Keep your car away from water puddles to avoid damaging your vehicle’s electrical system. You do not want to be stranded in the rain with a faulty vehicle.
Hydroplaning occurs when the tires lose grip on a wet surface, causing the vehicle to slide. Hydroplaning can happen if you drive at high speed within the first few minutes of light rain. It is, therefore, advisable to drive in the tracks of the vehicles ahead of you. You may also need to steer as little as possible and brake smoothly until you regain control. The hydroplaning will typically last for a second or two.
5. Maintain a Safe Distance
Leave a 5-second gap between you and the car ahead. This will allow you more time to react in merging traffic and car hydroplaning conditions, and will also help you avoid nasty crashes.
6. Don’t Brake Suddenly
Sudden braking can lead to hydroplaning or a loss of control. Remember to brake normally by applying pressure slowly to the brakes for better vehicle handling.
7. Watch Out!
Look out for tree branches or anything that can damage your vehicle! You can encounter a potentially damaging object anytime, so avoid sharp turns. Oversteering can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
8. Ensure Your Windscreen is Clear
Rain can fog up your windscreen, ultimately blocking your vision. Use your car’s defogger and air conditioner to ensure you can see everything in front of you. Running the air conditioner on cold can help ensure you get the desired results.
9. Stay Posted
Ensure you catch up with the latest traffic updates on the radio or online. This will ensure you are informed of road closures or accidents. These updates can help you avoid heavy traffic, be aware of current weather conditions and plan your trip.
10. Allow Extra Travel Time
As a result of the rain, you might encounter car accidents or slow-moving traffic. It is imperative to account for extra travel time on the rainy road.
In conclusion, you should adjust your driving depending on the weather conditions.
Share these tips with your loved ones to ensure your and their safety while driving in the rain!
If you are a learner under 25 years of age in NSW, and want to learn safe driving techniques, book the Safer Drivers Course. After completing this theoretical and practical course, you will have a better understanding of being a safe P-plate and defensive driver.