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Driving in the rain doesn’t have to be stressful! It’s true that driving whilst it’s raining can increase braking and stopping distances and heavy rain can decrease visibility but there’s nothing to be worried about! Knowing the top tips below on how to drive safely in the rain can help you to avoid road accidents and keep both you and others around you safe on rainy days.

safety tips for driving in the rain infographic

1. Turn on dipped headlights.

Your headlights are crucial when driving in the rain. Usually, when bad weather hits it also means dark skies, however, don’t forget to turn on your headlights even when it’s raining and the sun is shining! Your headlights enable more visibility for yourself and allow other drivers the ability to see your car more clearly when driving in the dark. Dipped headlights are the brightest headlights you have without dazzling other road users. Find out how to change a headlight bulb.

2. Look out for pedestrians

Heavy rain can decrease your visibility, which includes other cars and also pedestrians.  When rain hits, many pedestrians tend to rush to their destination which may make them less observant and more likely to take risks crossing the road. You should be extra cautious of what’s going on around you when driving in the rain.

3. Avoid sudden actions.

A wet road means less traction. You should avoid speeding and making sudden motions as your vehicle won’t be able to react as well as it normally would on a dry road.

4. Use the 5-6 second distance rule 

When the road is wet or icy, your braking and stopping distance is increased, meaning that you should increase your following distance to 5-6 seconds. You can check your following distance by choosing a fixed point that is even with the car in front of you (e.g a bridge or road sign) and if you can reach the same point before you can count to 5-6 seconds, you are too close.

Related articles – Winter driving tips

5. Turn on your air-conditioning.

When windows become steamy, it can reduce your visibility. Clear your windscreen quickly by using your air-conditioning. Don’t have air-con? Try opening your windows instead of using the heater.

6. Don’t use rear fog lights

It can seem light a good idea to turn all your lights on when the weather is wet. However, using your rear fog lights can make it harder for cars behind to see your brake lights and could dazzle the driver behind too. 

7. Avoid heavy rain

Just like with heavy snow, you are advised to only drive if you really need to. Heavy rain pour can be just as dangerous as snow or ice. If you drive in the rain, you can be a victim of hydroplaning, which is where a layer of water builds up under the tyre and causes the driver to lose control.

8. Don’t follow trucks or buses too closely

Tailgating is a bad driving habit to get into and as mentioned, driving too close to other drivers is very dangerous! When you drive behind a bus or truck, your visibility is massively reduced and you usually can’t see anything in front, meaning that you can’t anticipate a crash or accident. In heavy rain, drivers also experience spray from the wheels of the driver in front, this can affect your ability to see ahead and tends to be worse on larger vehicles.

9. Drive slowly

You should take more care when driving in the rain and reduce your speed. When you drive faster, more rain hits your windscreen and reduces your visibility. Driving slower allows more traction between you and the road and reducing your speed allows you to react to situations quicker.

Find out more from the Blog

How to keep children safe in the car.

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10 things you need in a car emergency kit. 

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Best cars for snow UK.

How to Drive in Winter uk

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