Driving in poor weather conditions can be daunting for many drivers, particularly those who have recently passed their test.
Wet roads are one of the leading causes of motor accidents, with many motorists failing to alter how they drive to compensate for poor visibility and slippery roads.
We’ve got some tips for driving safely in the rain so that you can feel more confident driving in adverse weather.
1. Slow down
One analysis of drivers showed that 48% of drivers exceed the speed limit when driving in the rain.
Driving fast in poor weather conditions gives you less time to react to hazards. Plus, when roads are wet you will have a larger stopping distance, and both scenarios may contribute to a car accident.
When driving in the rain you should make sure you have plenty of time to react to any hazards ahead and have ample time to stop if necessary.
2. Keep your car maintained
Whenever you are out on the road it’s essential to ensure your car is fuelled and road safe. However, there are some parts of your vehicle that are especially crucial in wet weather.
Firstly, check your tyres and ensure there is enough tread left to grip the road. If you are driving on summer or all-season tyres, it is recommended that there should be a minimum tread depth of 3mm. If you’re driving on winter tyres, the recommended tread is 4mm.
Secondly, ensure you have ample fuel in your car just in case you get caught up in traffic or your journey is delayed.
Thirdly, ensure your wiper blades are in good condition and are working properly. If you need new wiper blades you can often purchase these easily from an online car parts supplier.
3. Use your headlights
Visibility is greatly reduced in wet weather due to rain and spray coming off of roads.
To be seen by other drivers always make sure that your headlights and rear lights are switched on and are working.
4. Avoid harsh or sudden braking
As mentioned, stopping distance in the rain is often much more than what is required in dry conditions.
Try engine braking earlier than usual by taking your foot off the accelerator to allow your car to slow down naturally. When you do need to use the brake pedal, do this lightly and with control so that you have less risk of sliding.
5. Be mindful of standing water
Keep your eye out for any puddles of standing water on your journey, as some patches of standing water can cause your car to aquaplane and lose grip of the road.
Try to avoid standing water where it is safe to do so, but if your tyres do lose contact with the road surface take your foot off the accelerator and allow your speed to reduce until you feel in control again and it is safe to brake.
6. Buy an appropriate car
Last but not least, if you're someone living in the UK or Europe, you'll know that we are no strangers to rain. Owning a vehicle that can handle the various weather conditions we are subject to is important.
For example, you may find if you own a convertible, or a supercar, you can't really enjoy those the way they are meant to be if it is pouring down with rain!
We suggest buying an all-around car such as a Toyota Corolla, Vauxhall Corsa, Audi A6, or a Volvo V40.
Alternatively, consider investing in an all-weather, all-terrain car such as a Land Rover Defender, Skoda Kodiaq, or a Range Rover Evoque. These cars will take care of you if you are driving safely no matter the weather!