There is always the stage after having passed a driving test whereby new drivers are becoming accustomed to driving vehicles on the roads. It's for precisely this reason that you sometimes see people with the green 'P' (for 'passed') sticker on their call to denote they have recently secured their licence. Statistical data backs up the fact that around 40% of accidents happen as a result of inexperience, with the age group typically being between 17 and 24 years of age. If you're relatively new to the roads, or even if you're not, it can be good to brush up on information on safe driving. In this article, we're going to be looking at driving in the rain and the different factors to take into consideration so as to avoid colliding in a traffic accident of some description due to wet road conditions.

Tailgating in Wet Conditions Could Claim Your Life

The most common mistake made in wet conditions by both experienced and inexperienced drivers is lack of braking distance. There's a rule while driving on roads that your breaking distance must be a full two-second count in between you and the vehicle in front. In rainy or wet conditions this doubles into four seconds. The idea is that you can use a marker such as tree, sign on road marking as the starting point and then count four seconds in between the time of the vehicle in front drive through and you drive through that marker. Do not fall into the false idea that it is somehow okay to fail to adhere to this rule. The My Compensation team cannot overstress this point. Driving too close will not make your journey any shorter and it will only go towards creating unsafe conditions and hassle the driver In front.

Points on Reduced Visibility While Driving

If your windscreen is slightly dirty and it is a sunnier time of year, it might feel okay to forego keeping it spotlessly clean. However, rain reduces visibility and, this dirt can mix together to reduce visibility significantly if left unattended. The rain will reduce your visibility by itself, dirt will really escalate the situation. Here are a few steps to take in order to avoid this scenario:

  • Keep your windows clean at all times
  • Replace ineffective window wipers
  • Use quality windscreen washer fluid
  • Should your Windows begin to mist, turn on your air conditioning

How to Deal Appropriately with Aquaplaning

If there is a great deal of water on the road surface then aquaplaning may be experienced though this is usually only experienced in puddles or other water bodies if you're driving at a reasonable speed. Aquaplaning is when the surface of the tire skims along the surface water, removing its contact with the road underneath. Symptoms of aquaplaning involve steering suddenly becoming very tight and it's important to know how to deal with this scenario effectively so as to avoid accidentally damaging your vehicle. If you find yourself in this scenario:

  • Slowly release your foot off the accelerator
  • Don't try to steer sharply in one direction if it can be avoided, or ideally, don't steer at all
  • Never break as it could cause you to lose control of your vehicle
  • Ensure that you are not driving in wet conditions with cruise control on it hinders your control over the situation

How to Drive Safely in Flooded Conditions

There are a number of things worth knowing about driving through a flooded road that may not have been covered in your driving test. Here is bullet point list of what to do in such conditions. Ideally however, it is recommended that you never drive through water which is higher than your exhaust pipe. Getting water in your engine can result in a very expensive repair bill, not to mention meaning you are stranded somewhere with a broken car.

  • Always drive over the highest part of the road
  • Drive as slowly as possible through the flooded part of the road
  • Drive-through using first gear in high revs with the clutch partially engaged (this minimises the chances of water going up your exhaust)
  • Never remove your foot from the accelerator
  • Once you're clear of the water, apply your breaks in order to dry them out a little before continuing your journey

My Compensation hopes you found the above information useful. This article was written in the upcoming winter of 2012 to 2013 and we hope you use this information to help the United Kingdom to reduce the number of colliding vehicles causing personal injuries on our streets, motorways and roads.


The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.