Driving to the conditions

Written by Rina Capila

Drive to the conditions

As we head into Autumn, there are a lot more rainy days and that means changing how you drive.

When you are learning to drive, practice on different road types and conditions. This includes driving when it is raining, or has rained and the road is wet.

Driving in wet weather can make it harder to see clearly, turn safely, and come to a stop quickly. The more you practice to drive in wet conditions, the more you will get used to it and be able to drive safely.

Here are a few helpful things to remember when driving in wet conditions:

See Clearly

  • Know where the de-mister is – this will help to keep your windows and windscreen clear inside your car. This will help you see clearly when completing blindspot checks.
  • Know where your windscreen wiper controls are and check they work properly – this will keep your windscreen clear outside.

Be Seen

  • Turn your headlights on when it starts to rain so other drivers can see you – use fog lights during heavy rain
  • Watch out for surface water and spray from other vehicles, especially large vehicles, that may mean other drivers cannot see you
  • It is especially important to use your indicators when changing lanes or turning in wet weather to let other road users know your intentions.

When conditions change, reduce your speed...

It takes longer to stop when the roads are wet as there is less traction for tyres. There roads may also become slippery from surface water

  • Increase following distance to at least 4 seconds
  • Slow down, especially in heavy rain and when turning
  • Stay alert and look ahead for large puddles
  • Try to drive in the tracks of the car in front of you as there is likely to be less water

If you are driving when starts to rain heavily, you can pull over to the side of the road and wait until it lightens. Make sure you leave your headlights on, or turn your hazards lights on.

At PCDS, we can help you practice driving in wet conditions – the more you drive in wet conditions, the more confident you will become. It is also helpful to practice driving at night in wet conditions, where the surface water may make it hard to see road markings.

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