Driving in the rain

For the first time can be a daunting experience. At Peak driving, we like to expose all of our pupils to different weather conditions so you can gain as much experience as possible for your driving test and afterwards. This is a revised version of ‘driving in the rain’ on Ezine articles.

Driving in the rain can alter your perception of other vehicles. With 24% of car accidents happening due to adverse weather conditions such as rain, ice and snow, here’s a few important tips to keep you safe whilst driving in the rain.

  • This may seem fairly obvious but try to drive in the lane with the least puddles when travelling on the motorway etc. This will minimise aquaplaning as the centre lane is usually the highest point in the road and the rain will collect on the end lanes.
  • Aquaplaning happens when your wheels lose traction on the surface you are driving on. It can be difficult to tell if you are aquaplaning but your steering may feel lighter or non responsive.
  • To minimise the chances of aquaplaning, reduce your speed to under 50mph. This should enable your wheels to gain full contact on the road sooner.
  • Driving in the rain can make things more difficult to see. Increase your visibility by switching on your headlights, this will also make you more visible to other road users.
  • It is important to allow a bigger gap between cars when driving in the rain as your stopping distance is twice the amount on wet surfaces. In dry conditions your stopping distance at 30mph is 6 car lengths, so this is doubled when driving in the rain.
  • Driving through big puddles can possibly flood the engine of your car. If you are driving towards a puddle and are unsure of the depth of the puddle, reduce your speed. In the event they are too deep, you can always reverse out. Look out for any warning triangles saying ‘Ford’ as they indicate areas that are likely to experience high floods.
  • If you end up driving through a flood/large puddle, test your brakes afterwards as it can take longer to slow down afterwards.
  • When driving through floods try to use first gear and keep your engine revs pretty high. Also, slip the clutch at the same time (ensuring you keep the clutch partially engaged). This will reduce the risk of water entering your exhaust. Don’t take your foot off of the gas either as it could cause water to go into the exhaust of your vehicle.
  • If you are driving down country roads stay away from large puddles on or near the gutter of the road. These can be covering large pot holes which could damage your tyre or alloy wheel.
  • Make sure your tyres have good tread depth especially as the weather becomes worse during autumn and winter. By law, your tyre depth tread should be a minimum of 1.6mm in depth across 3/4 of the tyre.

If you would like more tips on how to drive in the rain, call a member of Peakdriving today where someone will be more than happy to help!