Driving in the rain is a demanding task even for experienced drivers. To drive safely during the rainy season you need to keep your mind and eyes open all the time. One small mistake can lead to accidents. This is why when you enrol in a driving school to lead driving, instructors give special attention to safety tips for driving in the rain and fog.
Driving on a rainy day is very different as compared to when you drive on any other normal day. This is mainly because wet roads can be the most difficult to drive on. The grease and oil from vehicles lead to the formation of a film on roads during dry conditions but the situation is very different when it rains. The grease and oil when coming in contact with water the road becomes extremely slippery, which in turn increases the chance of hydroplaning.
Hydroplaning means skidding and in such a case there is a high chance of the tyres losing their grip on a wet surface and sliding. Moreover, during rain and fog, it gets harder to see. There are many safety tips for driving in the rain and fog and each and every driver must follow them to make the road safe for all.
When the tips for safe driving in heavy rain are not followed then there is a higher risk of a crash during this time. Some drivers underestimate the danger, which can increase risk.
It is better to avoid driving in the rain but this is not possible most of the time. Moreover, there are many places in the world where it rains almost every day and avoiding driving in such places is not a good solution. If you need to drive in rainy and foggy weather, it is essential to follow rain-driving tips.
Do you need to drive in the rain? Don’t Forget These Things:
1. Avoid overspeeding at all costs:
One of the safety tips for driving in the rain and fog is not overspeeding in any case. Irrespective of how late you are to reach the destination, do not drive at high speed. You must adhere to the prescribed speed limit when driving in the rain. If needed drive at a considerably lower speed than you would normally drive. There is no need to hurry up as traffic will be moving slower on a rainy day.
Wet roads are very dangerous and they can cause the vehicle to skid on the road, leading to accidents. It is also recommended not to use cruise control on wet roads. If you hydroplane under cruise control, you might lose control of your vehicle which can turn out to be very dangerous. Also, try not to lose your patience and drive as calmly as possible. This is an important tip for safe driving in heavy rain.
2. Deep water crossings should be avoided:
One of the important tips for safe driving in heavy rain is to completely avoid deep water crossings. Driving in the rain on such roads increases the risk of losing control of the car.
Heavy rain can cause havoc, especially in low-lying areas. In such areas water can get accumulated quickly and it can be difficult to judge the depth of water. Such roads are extremely dangerous if not taken seriously by drivers. It is best to avoid such roads completely; however, if you have to drive into one, you should try to judge the depth of the water by keeping a close eye on the water surrounding it.
At the same time keep an eye out for standing water as there is a risk of hydroplaning to occur. In such a situation there is a high chance of losing traction and skidding across the surface of the road.
3. Maintain a Safe Distance between Cars or Trucks:
When it comes to how to drive in the rain and fog, it is always safer to increase the distance between your car and the vehicle in front of you.
Try to give trucks, buses and other large-sized vehicles on the road extra distance. This is important as tyres from large vehicles can splash a good amount of water, completely blocking your vision for a few seconds. For new drivers, this can be very scary too. At the same time, avoid overtaking a car, especially a large vehicle. However, if you must, do it as quickly as safety allows.
When you maintain a safe distance between your car and the car in front of you, it will be safer to apply the brake and stop your car in case of an emergency. Otherwise, there will be a high chance of collision.
4. Heavy braking should be avoided:
Another important tip for driving in the rain at night is to be easy on the brakes. You must avoid heavy braking to give you a better handle on the vehicle.
When driving in the rain, the best option is to remove your foot off the gas and try your level best to keep the vehicle as straight as possible. In case, there is a need to apply the brake; do it gently. When the brakes are pressed down harder on a wet road than normal it can be very dangerous as the reaction time of the car is lowered.
Also, always remember not to brake or turn the wheels during a hydroplane as it can cause the vehicle to skid on the wet and slippery road. Also, you will lose control of your vehicle.
5. Windshield wipers should be used:
Another important tip for driving in the rain at night is to always use windshield wipers. It is very common amongst people to use windshield wipers during heavy rains but often people avoid using them during light showers and drizzle.
When driving in the rain, it is very important to use the windshield wiper. It will help clear your vision as due to rain the windscreen tends to fog up. In most of the latest cars, the windshield wiper speed is adjustable. This helps to clear moisture from the glass in a light mist or even during a heavy downpour.
Before the rainy season starts, check that the windshield wipers are in good working condition. If the blades are brittle or damaged, replace them before you need to drive in a rain. Also, once a month, clean the outsides and insides of windshields for wear and tear. Even check the level of your washer fluid once a week.
6. Stop if it is very heavy rain:
One of the most important safety tips for driving in the rain and fog is to avoid driving during very heavy downpours.
Heavy downpours accompanied by thunder and lightning can be very dangerous and you must not underestimate the power of Mother Nature. Also thunder and lightning can affect your visibility and this can lead to making a mistake which can be very dangerous.
Electricity and water are a deadly combination and when there is lightning during heavy rains it is better to switch off the engine and park the car in a safe place. If lightning does hit a car, it will cause damage to the electronic components present inside the car.
When parking the car, keep your headlights on and turn on your hazard warning lights. This will help a lot in alerting other drivers of your whereabouts.
7. Keep your tyres inflated properly:
It is the tyres of your car that help a lot in driving in the rain safely. Tyres provide traction and stability control that is very helpful on rain-soaked roads. Hence one of the tips for safe driving in heavy rain is to give special attention to the tyres.
Lack of proper tread, air pressure, etc. can reduce traction and increase the risk of an accident considerably. Traction control helps maintain a grip on the road by putting the brakes on the tyres struggling for traction. This is why it is very important to keep all the tyres inflated properly.
Always use good quality tyres if you live in a place where it rains most part of the year. Also, replace worn tyres as soon as possible without any delay. If you have any doubts about the condition of the tyres, get them checked by an expert.
8. Allow extra travel time:
When driving in the rain there is no scope for driving fast no matter how late you are at that time. You need to allow extra travel time. This means if on a normal day you reach your office from home in 30 minutes, then on a rainy day give yourself some extra time. Leave home a little earlier to avoid getting late.
On a rainy day, expect slow-moving traffic, water logging in some places or car accidents along the way. Also, there will be low visibility. Hence it is better to be prepared and expect to spend some more time out on the rainy road. This is one of the most important safety tips for driving in the rain and fog.
Also, when you are driving in rain, it is best to be a responsible driver. Pay special attention to roads and passing vehicles and always hold the steering wheel firmly with both your hands for better control.
9. Make sure your car is clean and in good condition:
If the weather forecast says that it is going to rain for a week or more, it’s time to check your car thoroughly. You must take out some time and get your car thoroughly inspected to ensure all the important equipment such as the windshield wipers, headlights, tail lights, fog lights, horn, turn signals, indicators, brakes etc. are in top order.
When you are driving in the rain you cannot concentrate if some part of the car is not functioning properly. Also, if suddenly the engine stops in the middle of the rain-drenched road, you cannot expect quick help.
Hence, one of the most important tips for safe driving in heavy rain is always to check and double-check that everything in your car is in proper working condition. When driving in the rain, ventilate your car from time to time as rain may cause humidity levels to increase, making the windows foggy.
10. Road knowledge is essential:
If you are still wondering how to drive in the rain and fog, ask yourself first whether you will be driving on a familiar road or not. For driving in the rain safely it is important to have proper knowledge of the road.
Driving on familiar roads means you are aware of the road conditions and all the shortcuts. Hence, if the weather condition is not good it is better to avoid unknown roads and stick to familiar roads.
On a rainy day, check the weather forecast before going out and plan your route accordingly. Try to avoid roads having low-lying bridges, underpasses or past ditches that are prone to flooding. Also, it has been found that large amounts of water usually collect on the sides of the roads rather than in the middle. Hence, for safe driving in the rain, try to drive in the middle of the road.
11. Turn on the lights, not the brights:
One of the most important tips for driving in the rain at night is to turn on the lights all the time. It is an important road rule in most of the states in Australia to turn on the headlights while driving in rain.
Even if it only misting or there is fog all around you, turn on your vehicle’s headlights. The light emerging from the headlights will increase your visibility and you will be able to see the road in front of you clearly. Also, turning on the headlights will help other drivers to see your car on the road.
However, when turning on the headlight when driving in the rain there is no need to flip on your brightness level. Remember that brighter light will just reflect off wet surfaces and the light will bounce back into your eyes, causing difficulty in seeing the road. Bright lights will even irritate other drivers on the road too.
12. Don’t take unnecessary trips:
Another important rain-driving tip is to avoid driving during rain or when the fog is too heavy. There is a big problem with visibility during such weather conditions and hence if not necessary do not take out your car on the road.
Wait until the weather improves for safe driving. There is no point in putting yourself in danger when you are aware of the fact that driving in the rain can be a daunting task and you need to fully concentrate on your driving.
You must also hold off on unnecessary trips if you are not feeling well as you will find it difficult to handle the car. Always ask yourself if you are mentally prepared to drive in this kind of weather and in case of even little doubt avoid sitting behind the wheel.
To sum up, follow the above-mentioned safety tips for driving in the rain to keep yourself safe and secure. Driving in the rain and especially during heavy rainfall is very dangerous but if proper precautions are taken anyone can drive safely. Safety tips for driving in the rain and fog must be followed by all and everyone.