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Guidance for Driving Safely in Wet Weather Background Image

Guid­ance for Dri­ving Safe­ly in Wet Weather

Posted 11/15/22 by Elspeth Myers

We’re head­ing into the throws of win­ter! We all know what that means, lots of wet weather.

When faced with unfavourable weath­er and your trip is unnec­es­sary, the safest choice may be to can­cel or delay your trip until con­di­tions improve. How­ev­er, when dri­ving in less-than-ide­al weath­er con­di­tions, you can employ sev­er­al appro­pri­ate actions to keep your­self and your pas­sen­gers safe. 

After all, the goal is to arrive safe­ly at your destination.

Heavy rain is one of dri­vers’ most com­mon adverse weath­er con­di­tions. So we’ve list­ed a few tips below to keep you safe from tor­ren­tial down­pours that can result in flood­ed roads or heavy rain that block visibility.

How to Dri­ve Safe­ly In the Rain

Low beam & wind­screen wipers.

Using your low beams and wipers will ensure oth­er vehi­cles can see you. 

Increase dis­tance between vehi­cles in front.

Wet roads are slip­pery sur­faces that require dri­vers’ utmost atten­tion. When the road is wet, it can cause your vehi­cle to take more time to come to a com­plete stop. All dri­vers should prac­tice safe dri­ving by ensur­ing more dis­tance between sur­round­ing vehicles.

Reduce your speed.

Nation­al speed lim­its are set for ide­al weath­er con­di­tions. Not wet and slip­pery road­ways. Speed­ing and over-con­fi­dence in adverse con­di­tions can lead to hydroplaning.

Brake smooth­ly.

Avoid slam­ming on your brakes. 

When dri­ving on wet roads, it’s advis­able to apply pres­sure to the brake slow­ly, smooth­ly and early.

Foot on brake pedal
Foot on brake pedal

Avoid stand­ing water.

Sounds pret­ty easy, right? Well, this is a bit more chal­leng­ing to spot clear­ly at night. A gen­er­al rule of thumb is to scan ahead and antic­i­pate where water might accu­mu­late. Does water appear to be in one lane more so than the oth­er? Is water welling up on the hard shoulder?

Extra cau­tion at junctions.

Slow well before junc­tions by cov­er­ing the brake!

Even with good vis­i­bil­i­ty and in the best con­di­tions, junc­tions are high-risk areas for col­li­sions. Remem­ber to antic­i­pate and nev­er assume anoth­er dri­ver’s actions. 

What is Hydroplaning?

Hydroplan­ing refers to a film of water that forms between the ground and your tyres, lift­ing the front wheels off the road and adverse­ly affect­ing your abil­i­ty to steer and brake. 

Although many vari­ables deter­mine whether or not your vehi­cle will hydroplane, vehi­cles can hydroplane at even low speeds.

Car hydroplaning
Car hydroplan­ing

Vehi­cle You’re Driving

The type of vehi­cle you are dri­ving affects the way you han­dle unfavourable con­di­tions. For exam­ple, which wheels are the dri­ve” wheels? Is your vehi­cle rear-wheel dri­ve or front-wheel dri­ve? All-wheel or four-wheel dri­ve? Each has slight­ly dif­fer­ent dri­ving char­ac­ter­is­tics, and you should remem­ber these fac­tors before under­tak­ing journeys.

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