10 Wet Weather Driving Tips

Handy tips for reducing risk driving during wet weather

Published on Monday, 02 September 2019 at 16:53
10 wet weather driving tips
Nicky Bentley, August 23, 2018

Australia’s weather can be nothing short of unpredictable. One minute it’s raining, and the next it’s a bright and sunny day! During our extreme weather, it’s important to be extra cautious and safe when driving on slippery roads. Here are our top 10 wet weather driving tips to help you drive safely during slippery conditions.

Tip 1: Watch your speed

Keep your speed down when possible when driving in wet weather. Driving at a slower speed can help you to respond better to unexpected wet weather situations that may turn dangerous. Reducing your speed also allows for your tyres to have a better grip on the road, giving you more control during wet weather driving. Taking these precautions will also help to avoid hydroplaning.

Wondering what it means to hydroplane? When it rains, a layer of liquid forms on the road’s surface. This layer is typically repelled by your car’s tyres, allowing for a good grip on the road. However, if you are driving too fast, there is a chance of a layer of water being trapped in front of and underneath your tyres. This may result in your car being lifted, subverting your grip on the road, which can be very dangerous. It’s important to ensure you have a decent level of grip on your tyres when driving in we weather.

Tip 2: Avoid water puddles

Unlike when you’re on foot, going into a puddle on the road can be dangerous. There is a limited opportunity for you to judge the severity of the puddle, which could lead to hydroplaning due to speed and depth of the puddle.

Tip 3: How to recover from slipping

In the unlikely event that you begin to hydroplane, it’s imperative for you not to slam on your breaks. Doing so will result in a more aggressive slip. The best thing you can do is to try and remain calm, slowly take your foot off the accelerator and press the brake pedal gently, while steering your car into the direction that you are slipping.

While this may sound counter intuitive, moving in the direction of the issue is more likely to remedy the issue. Think about when you are carrying something and start to drop it. You would move toward the direction that the item is falling to catch it rather than move away from it.

Tip 4: Keep your distance

Seeing as you have no control over the vehicles in front of you, it’s wise to keep your distance from the car in front. This way, you have a greater chance of reacting, should the car in front lose control due to the wet weather driving conditions.

Tip 5: Keep on top of your tyre maintenance

Sufficient tyre pressure will allow for an optimal grip on the road. Checking your tyre pressure is very simple and can be done at a garage, or even at home using a tyre pressure gauge. Legally, your tyre pressure should be at least 1.6mm, so it is a good thing to keep an eye on regardless.

Tip 6: Avoid cruise control

Wet weather driving conditions require your full and undivided attention. As such, if you use cruise control, you are limiting your involvement in the drive, which could potentially subvert your control over the vehicle, leading to a dangerous situation.

Tip 7: Keep your windows fog-free

Fogged up windows is one of the most annoying and dangerous elements of rainy weather. Trying to get your air system to quickly de-fog whilst driving down the road can be stressful and turn into a dangerous situation. To de-fog your windshield quickly and easily, try:

  • Turning your heating up
  • Turning the air conditioning on
  • Slightly opening your window

Your best bet would be to take these precautions once you start seeing your windows fog up, so that you are able to avoid a difficult situation once the entire window becomes fogged up.

Tip 8: Replace your window wipers regularly

You’ll find that after a decent amount of time, windshield wipers will begin to leave stripes on your window, or make a loud squeaky sound. These 2 elements indicate that it is time for a replacement.

Tip 9: When in doubt, follow traffic

If you are starting to get nervous about the level of puddles on the road, try to monitor the track that the traffic in front of you is taking. This will be a good indication on where it is potentially safer to drive.

Tip 10: Consider not driving

Remember that your safety overall far outweighs convenience. If you feel that the weather is not safe enough to be driving in, think about taking alternative transport if possible, or even working from home if you can. Another option is to choose to wait out the storm if it is passing. You’re better off being late to your destination than not arriving at all.

If you are looking for more tips on safe driving here is a great article from the team at Overlanding on How To Drive Safely.

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