Driving in the rain can be a challenging experience, even for the most seasoned drivers. Rain not only reduces visibility but also significantly increases the risk of losing control of your vehicle. It’s crucial to understand how to adapt your driving during wet conditions to ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road.

This article will explore some essential driving safety tips detailing how to drive in the rain. This will help you to confidently navigate adverse weather conditions and minimise the risks of accidents.

How To Drive In The Rain

Plan Your Journey

When planning your journey, check weather forecasts in advance. This will provide you with an idea of the duration and intensity of the rain, enabling you to make informed decisions about when it is safest to drive and which roads are less susceptible to flooding. Giving yourself time to choose safer routes can help diminish the chances of hydroplaning or getting stuck in traffic on waterlogged roads. Additionally, it’s advisable to consider routes with plenty of areas to pull over in case the rain intensifies and you lose visibility.

Maintain your Vehicle in Advance

If you know how to drive in the rain, then you will know it is important to have a properly maintained vehicle. Ensure your tyres have sufficient tread depths and the correct tyre pressure. You can find the recommended air pressure for your tyres in your vehicle handbook, which should be stored in the glove compartment. Make sure your windscreen wipers are in good condition. It’s advisable to change your wiper blades every six to twelve months or as soon as you notice any damage, squeaking noises, streaking or skipping. In addition, inspect your brakes. Ensure all your lights are working, as visibility is essential during adverse conditions.

Pack a Seasonal Bag

Being prepared for the unexpected is crucial when driving in heavy rain. Consider packing:

  • Waterproof jacket, trousers and boots
  • Extra Clothing, including thick socks and gloves
  • Hi-Viz vest
  • Towels and emergency blankets
  • Flashlight, head torch and extra batteries
  • Mobile phone and charger
  • First-aid kit
  • Basic Tool Kit including a tow rope
  • Water and Non-perishable snacks

Drive with Dipped Headlights On

When visibility is reduced by rain, mist or spray, Highway Code Rule 226 states that you must use your headlights ‘when you cannot see for more than 100 metres’. This enables other road users to see you and illuminate the road ahead, reducing potential incidents.

If the rain is persistent, you must use dipped headlights rather than high beams to avoid blinding other road users. It’s also advised to keep them on during daylight and night hours.

Reduce Speed and Leave Plenty of Distance

As heavy rain makes roads slick, reducing tyre grip, you should keep well back from the vehicle in front. This allows you time to improve control. It would be best if you also reduced your speed to reduce the risk of hydroplaning, which can cause rear-end collisions.

During a driving lesson , it would have been recommended that you increase your following distance to at least a 3-4 second gap and exercise extra caution when braking or changing lanes to prevent potential accidents from happening.

Steer Clear of Deep Water

When learning how to drive in the rain, consider what you will do when encountering waterlogged roads. Carefully assess the depth of the water before proceeding. If it looks too deep, find a safe space to do a three-point turn. Driving through deep water can cause water to splash into unwanted areas and your tyres to lose contact with the road.

Ensure you check your brakes thoroughly after emerging from the water to ensure they function correctly.