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