Heels & Horsepower Magazine


10 Tips for driving safely in the rain

Driving safely in wet weather requires an adjustment in your driving style. Here are our top-ten tips for minimising the risk of having an accident.

  1. Slow down: You are more likely to have better control of your vehicle when you drive at a slower-than-usual pace.  Also, reducing your speed gives you time to react in the event of any eventuality such as another car losing control. 
  2. Avoid large pools of water: When possible, avoid driving through large bodies of water as they could be covering potholes. Rather, opt to drive slowly at the shallowest part of the water (edge of the puddle) reduce your speed and drive cautiously.  
  3. Allow for extra travelling time: Plan ahead, be patient and prepare to arrive at your destination later than usual. Chances are that there will be a lot of slow moving traffic along your route. 
  4. Brake sooner and with less pressure: Gently braking reduces the chance of your tyres skidding while braking sooner allows for a longer stopping distance thereby minimising your chances of rear ending the vehicle ahead of yours.  
  5. Increase your following distance: The more space you have between your car and the one you are following the safer you are.  Keeping a safe following distance is good practice even when driving in good weather. 
  6. Demist your windows and windscreen, using your demister function and not a piece of cloth, your sleeve or tissue! Switch on the air con as this will help clear the fog quickly.
  7. Turn on your headlights: This increases your visibility to other motorists but can be dangerous if you use your high beams.  Switching your headlights to ‘bright’ could blind other motorists as the extra light is likely to bounce off the water droplets, causing a distraction to on coming traffic.   
  8. Give trucks a wide berth: As a general rule, always pass large vehicles as quickly as possible. In wet weather though, the spray from their tyres can make it extremely difficult to see which is why passing them as soon as possible or only when absolutely necessary is imperative. 
  9. Don’t cross running water: Not only could the water be deeper than you think but it could be flowing faster than the eye can see.  Attempting to drive through flowing water could result in your car being swept away thereby endangering the lives of everyone in it.
  10. Pull over if visibility is low: If the downpour is so heavy that you can’t see ahead of you, pull over in a safe spot and wait it out.  Remember to turn on your emergency lights so you are more visible to other motorists. 

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