An Idiot's guide to driving safely in the rain

Drive responsibly!

2y ago

With winter upon us, it makes sense to take more care when driving. It is very likely to rain where you are so here are some things to be aware of from a bit of an idiot. Consider is a sort of 'wisdomous' experience.


- Make sure you drive carefully and defensively as water on the road can alter your car’s responsiveness. While this one may seem obvious, it is nevertheless very important.

- Always have your headlights on so you can clearly see the road up ahead

- Always have your windshield wipers on when it’s raining so you can see as clearly as possible

- Make sure you leave extra space between your car and others to avoid collisions

- If you can, try and stay in the middle lane to minimize the possibility of any obstacles

- Avoid driving through standing water as this could be hiding potholes or unseen hazards

- Always make sure you have the appropriate tyre thread depth. The minimum by law is 1.6mm, always aim to ensure they are deeper than this.

- If you do end up driving through a pool of water, make sure you tap on your brakes slightly to dry them off as wet brakes will not react as well as dry ones.

- Keep a watchful eye out for pedestrians, overcast skies and heavy rain can make them much more difficult to see

- Make sure your car is mechanically sound, check your gauges and listen out for any unusual noises, if you notice something that doesn’t seem right, take your car to the garage immediately

- Lastly, it’s down to you, if you don’t feel safe driving in the rain then pull over and wait for it to clear up if you think it’s likely to.


If you know bad weather is coming, then it is always advisable to check the following things on your car.

- CHECK YOUR BATTERY - If your battery is 4-5 years old, you may want to consider changing it as this is a vital organ to your car.

- CHECK YOUR BRAKES - Make sure you get your brake pads and discs checked before bad weather, as your car is more vulnerable in wetter conditions.

- CHECK YOUR EXHAUST SYSTEM - Ensure that you have no fuel leaks as this will put other drivers at risk and make the road more slippery for them

- CHECK YOUR IGNITION - The last thing you want if you’re stranded in bad weather is your car not to start. Always make sure this is checked regularly.

- CHECK YOUR LIGHTS - Make sure all your lights are functionally properly and even put extra fuses in your car to keep as spares.

- CHECK YOUR TYRES- Proper traction is vital when driving in bad weather conditions. This will help your stopping and turning on wet surfaces. Making sure your tyres have a deep thread ensures more traction. As well as tyre thread and condition, make sure your tyres have the correct amount of pressure in them. You can do this by checking your owner’s manual or door frame. Be sure not to over inflate them. In addition to this, make sure all your tyres are the same to ensure a stable ride.

- CHECK YOUR WIPERS AND WASHERS - Always make sure there is enough washer fluid in your washer reservoir, even carry an extra bottle in your car if needed. As well as this, make sure your wipers are in good condition as this is very important in bad weather. You should aim to replace your wipers once a year

REMEMBER: Be careful out there!

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Comments (17)

  • It is not reasonable to stay in the middle lane, always drive on the far right (or left if your Brexit ... British) to not get into dangerous situations with drivers that are faster than you. In Germany we call it RECHTSFAHRGEBOT!

      2 years ago
    • no. Right lane is for merging on and off and for cars that are genuinely slow - i.e., broken or incapable of getting uphill. Middle lane is the default for driving, left is for overtaking. That's actually in the road books in many states.

        2 years ago
    • Usually in Europe/most explicit in Germany there are two lane highways with an third one where you are only allowed when you are broken down or in special occasions. Highways with three lanes also usually have this lane for broken down cars....

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        2 years ago
  • too many people in the middle lane already. "it is like toilet, you go in, you do it and then you get out"

      2 years ago
  • Good advice.

      2 years ago
  • Thank you for the reminders! Loving to drive and having fun should not allow us to forget our responsibility to others. Not completely anyway.😉

      2 years ago
  • I agree to all your points. Let me add the following:

    1: If you drive in rainy and foggy conditions a lot, consider you choice of car color. I had a silver car that vanished in the fog (except for the lights). A car that disappears in my driveway in the fog, isn't going to be much better on the road, just moving.

    2: Tires: Some tires are better in the rain than others. It's not even a matter of being worn. I've had new cars, with a few thousand miles on them, and the car hydroplaned easily. I changed the tires and the problem ended.

    3: Fog lights and reflectors. Some cars come with fog lights. If yours didn't come with them, add them. They're relatively inexpensive and there's some small LED based kits. The best thing I've ever seen (and it's not legal everywhere) was the rear fog lights on an old Volvo.

    As an aside, I've had cars with tiny "projector" headlights that were bad in good weather, and worse in bad weather. The beam pattern was too small, too high, and too focused. They were great at lighting the grill. Terrible at lighting the road. Fog lights "filled in the blanks".

    4: Make sure your headlights are in top shape. I've seen far too many fogged up, dull, plastic headlight covers. If they're halogens, the bulbs dim with age. There's also whiter and brighter bulbs available.

    5: You can discretely add reflective surfaces to your car. There's some great reflector tape out there, that can double as a stylish pin stripe.

    6: This is going to come off as a product endorsement. Rainx. Everything they make is designed to make your windows and glass better in bad weather. Once you use their products inside and outside your car you won't use anything else.

      2 years ago
    • Thanks for your response! Those are some great points.

        2 years ago
    • Thanks. Driving in bad weather is just a manageable challenge. When you live outside of "the big city" and in the mountains you want to tip the odds in your favor wherever you can. A few quick "changes" makes driving in bad weather less...

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        2 years ago