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How to Drive Safely in the Rain

During periods of rain, it can take your vehicle as long as two extra seconds to brake compared to when driving in dry conditions. Rain can also cause other potential hazards such as surface water, and heavy rain can severely impact visibility.

Because of this, it’s important to adapt your driving during rain to ensure the safety of yourself and other road users.

Is it dangerous to drive in the rain?

Overall, driving in the rain is not dangerous. It only becomes dangerous if you exceed speed limits and don’t leave enough space between yourself and the vehicle in front.

Things to consider before driving in the rain

If it’s raining before you set off - or forecast to rain - you should check the following on your vehicle:

Tyres

As your tyres are the only part of your vehicle that touches the road, they need to be above the legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm in order to provide adequate traction and braking. The deeper your treads, the better your tyres will be able to displace surface water and grip the road.

Headlights, sidelights, and brake lights

Are your headlights, sidelights, and brake lights working? Make sure to test them out before you drive. To test your brake lights if you’re alone, reverse close to a flat surface, such as a wall or garage door; if they’re working you should be able to see the red light in your rearview mirror.

Windscreen wipers

Give your wipers a test to make sure they’re not only working, but properly moving water out of your field of vision. Worn or damaged wiper blades can smear water across your windscreen, making it very difficult to see.

Driving safely in wet conditions

When driving in wet and rainy conditions it’s important to remember the following, for the safety of yourself and others:

Watch your speed

It’s always important to adhere to speed limits when driving, but during wet conditions you should slow it down to compensate for the increased braking time. This is especially important on fast roads, such as motorways, and narrow and bendy country roads.

Increase the distance between yourself and the vehicle in front

Because of the longer braking time, you’re going to want to make sure that, should the vehicle in front of you brake suddenly, you’re leaving yourself ample time to brake. Increased braking time, plus reduced visibility, increases the chance that you’ll bump into the back of another vehicle.

Be aware of standing water

Standing water on the road leads to an increased risk of aquaplaning, which is increased further the faster you drive and the smaller your tread depth size. Aquaplaning can be a frightening and dangerous experience, so take extra care when there’s surface water.

Avoid sudden braking

Try not to slam on the brakes, which you shouldn’t need to do if you’ve left plenty of room between yourself and the vehicle in front. Sudden braking can lead to skidding on wet roads, especially if you’re aquaplaning.

Try to avoid wet leaves

Believe it or not, wet leaves can cause your car to skid and are as much of a risk as ice. When driving through woodland areas, especially during the autumn, take extra care to avoid wet leaves.

Don’t let your windscreen fog

During periods of rain - when it’s cool outside and warm inside - your vehicle’s windows may fog. You can prevent this by using your car’s ventilation system. If the fogging becomes too severe, you should pull over to the side of the road until it clears.

Don’t splash people on the pavement

Don’t be that person. Not only is splashing pedestrians a nasty thing to do, it’s also illegal and could land you in trouble with the law.

Make sure your tyres are suitable for driving in the rain

Driving in the rain is nothing to worry about so long as you stick to the rules of the road and are conscious of the conditions and other road users.

If your tyres are below - or close to - the legal minimum tread depth, you’ll want to replace them to make sure you’re able to brake safely during wet conditions. To buy yourself new tyres online, all you need to do is pop your vehicle reg into our handy tool and we’ll guide you through the rest.

Customer services: 01908 222208 [email protected] Calls are recorded for training purposes

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FUEL EFFICIENCY fuel cert

Ratings from A-G
A = Best Fuel Economy

WET GRIP wet grip

Ratings from A-G
A = Best wet weather
performance

NOISE LEVEL noise level

The lower the decibel,
the quieter the tyre