9 Tips On How To Drive Safely In The Rain

Written by Omid Karimi

Australia experiences five months of the rainy season, roughly, from November to April. It can be scary when you encounter heavy rains and you see the water starting to rise on the roads. Some students are too afraid to drive in the rain. But you should consider this as an opportunity to build up your driving skill.

You can do this with your driving instructor so you'll feel more assured to practice. This way, you will be able to learn an important skill when driving. It is necessary to know the do's and don'ts when driving in the rain. So here are some tips to keep you safe on the road.

Slow down.

You should always slow down whenever the roads are wet. Road conditions and visibility might be poor, so slowing down will give you time to react. There are a lot of possible dangers that can happen when it rains and it's important for you to have enough time to act.

Avoid sudden braking.

Constant rain can lead to floodwaters making it dangerous to drive through roads. The build-up of water between the road surface and your tyres can lead to losing control of your car. When you suddenly press on the brake, your tyre can lose contact with the road. This will either lead to 'aquaplaning' or 'skidding'. So make sure to go easy on the brakes and know how to do defensive driving manoeuvres in case of emergencies.

Double your car distance.

In normal weather conditions, it is advised to have a 2-second gap between vehicles. You should double this distance to have a safe distance between other vehicles in rainy conditions.

When the surface of the road is wet, it’s slippery. And it takes a longer time to come to a full stop in case of an emergency brake. Leaving more gaps between you and the car in front could help you avoid collisions and save lives.

Use your demister or air conditioner.

Driving in the rain can cause condensation inside your car. This results in your windshield getting foggy. Hence, making it difficult to see outside of your car. Turning on your air conditioner or demister will help avoid this problem. So whenever it rains, go ahead and try this trick. It'll make driving in the rain much easier.

Turn on your headlights and wipers.

This is helpful for both you and other road users. To be specific, use your low-beam headlights since you can see the road better with this on. Roads become harder to see during rain. So turning on your headlights and wipers will make you see the road better and be more visible to other drivers.

Know your roads.

It is better if you are familiar with your route. If you are someone who is new to the area, do some research on which areas are low or high level. Get to know the facts of which roads are prone to having stagnant or floodwaters when it rains. This way, you can better plan your route and avoid these areas when the rainy season arrives.

Obey road closure signs.

When floodwater starts going down, some roads are still not safe to go through. If possible, only drive through a road if it's completely dry. For example, although the water is low, yet muddy, you won't be able to clearly see the damage on the road. It can have sharp objects that can damage your car and you'll end up getting stuck in the middle of the road.

Remember that ‘if it’s flooded, forget it’.

Be alert.

Always look out for possible soil erosion on the roads. As many roadsides have exposed layers of rock and soil that could slip onto the roads. This can be hazardous for road users if you see such things at the last second and decide to suddenly brake or quickly turn your car.

Stop when the rain gets too heavy.

Pull over to the side of the road if you deem that it's getting difficult for you to see the road ahead. Make sure to keep your headlights and hazard lights on to alert other drivers.

Always anticipate possible situations that can happen when driving in the rain. Then, you will be prepared to take evasive actions when necessary. Remember to slow down and use your headlights when driving in rainy weather. At the end of the day, everyone wants to get home safe. It’s better to be safe than sorry!

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