What is the safest speed to drive when raining?
10 Crucial Things To Know Before You Start Driving In The Rain
Driving in rain, whether a sprinkle or a heavy downpour, can be one of the most difficult driving situations a driver encounters. Rainy conditions are directly associated with higher accident rates. No matter what part of the country you live in, it is almost certain that you will be required to drive your vehicle in the rain at some point. Knowing how wet roads and reduced visibility affects the way your vehicle handles will help you drive safely in rainy conditions.
Tips for Driving in the Rain
Wait Until the Weather Improves if Possible
Double Check Your Car’s Equipment
Make sure that your car’s equipment is in working order before encountering rainy weather. Check your headlights, tail lights, and windshield wipers to make sure that they will work efficiently when they are needed. Also check the tread of your vehicle’s tires. Balding tires can severely reduce traction on wet roadways.
Turn On Your Headlights
Use Your Windshield Wipers
While this may seem like common sense, some people forget to turn on their windshield wipers in light rain. Most cars’ windshield wiper speed is adjustable to clear moisture from the glass in a light mist or in a heavy downpour. There are also several products available that can be sprayed or wiped onto the glass and claim to defer the collection of rainwater.
Maintain a Safe Distance Between Cars
Avoid Heavy Braking
Watch Out For Standing Water
Driving through standing water can cause hydroplaning to occur. Which is when you lose traction and skid across the surface of the road. To avoid hydroplaning, drive around places where water has collected by changing lanes or safely steering around such areas.
Let Off The Gas When Hydroplaning
Ventilate Your Car
Rain causes humidity levels to increase. You may find that your vehicle’s windows become foggy when you operate your vehicle while it is raining. Most cars’ ventilation systems include a function that will work to reduce this type of fog that develops on the interior of your windows and windshield. It may be necessary to pull over if you are no longer able to see through your windows.
Staying safe while driving in the rain is simple if you make a conscious effort to employ these safety precautions. Remember that reducing your speed and turning on your lights are two of the simplest and most effective ways of reducing the chances of an accident caused by wet weather.
Driving in Heavy Rain
We have all experienced the sudden unexpected downpour of rain.
The following tips may be helpful for drivers who have to face a heavy rainstorm on the road.
General Tips :
- Increase the three- second rule to 5-6 seconds to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead of you.
- If it is raining and the roads are wet, slow down. Take your foot off the accelerator and let your speed drop gradually.
- Never use the brakes suddenly because this may cause the car to skid.
- If you find that an oncoming vehicle is overtaking from the opposite direction and will not be likely to do it safely, slow down and be prepared to move to the left shoulder if necessary.
- Only move towards the shoulder if you are able to see clearly 150m ahead of you. Keep in mind that pedestrians may be walking on the shoulder to avoid the mud next to the surface of the road.
- Beware of oil patches. Don’t panic. Do not jam on your brakes, just steer through. In most cases, the patches will be small.
- Always change to a lower gear before you take a bend, especially a sharp bend. Your speed should be at its slowest as you enter the bend and both your hands should be on the steering wheel. This slow in/fast out technique gives you most control when driving around a bend.
- Increase your space cushion by doubling your normal following distance from 3 seconds to 6 seconds.
- Turn on your headlights.
- Be careful of other vehicles to the rear and in blind spot areas as they are especially difficult to see through rain-spattered windows.
- Use your low-beam headlights to see and be seen. Wait a short time after the rain begins before using your windshield wipers because the blades may smear.
- Be extra careful during the first half hour after rain begins. Grime and oil on the road surface mix with water to make the road slippery.
Safe driving techniques in heavy rain
We have since the development of this page given more attention to driving in heavy rain and other adverse weather conditions. This can be found on a page titled Safe driving in bad weather conditions
In this section we cover aspects such as:
- Adverse weather conditions and unique challenges on the road
- Aspects to consider before driving in bad weather
- Driver Fitness and Safe Driving in Adverse Weather Conditions
- Vehicle Fitness and Driving in Bad Weather
- Emergency preparedness for bad weather driving
- Safe Driving techniques in bad weather
- What to do in an emergency to avoid a crash
Different road users and safety in heavy rains
It is not only our motorists and truck drivers who are exposed to these conditions and the unique threats they present. We also need to be aware of the safety of the more vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and bikers when having to travel on the road in heavy rains.
Information on pedestrian safety in heavy rains and flood conditions can be found at a page titled:
For information on bikers/ motorcyclists and the safety techniques required when riding in the rain and bad weather also visit:
Vehicle fitness and Safety in Heavy Rains
We would also like to emphasize the importance of vehicle fitness when having to drive in heavy rains. The driver should be able to respond swiftly to any emergency situations. This will require in bad weather a special focus on both visibility and the ability to bring the vehicle to a sudden stop.
With this in mind, we need to ensure that our windscreen and wiper blades are in good condition and that our lights are in effective working condition. This becomes even more important when driving at night in the heavy rains.
We also need to ensure that our brakes and shocks are able to respond to the required pressure applied to bring the vehicle to a sudden stop!