A Complete Guide To Safe Driving In The Rain + 6 Safety Tips

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driving in the rain

When it rains, driving conditions can change. Driving in the rain or in a downpour is much more difficult than driving in good weather.

Heavy rain decreases visibility and it becomes more difficult to brake. Furthermore there are other risks as well, such as aquaplaning.

Learning how to drive in bad weather including rain and in slippery conditions is not that complicated. Get all the details here. In this article we will describe the most common mistakes and tips to follow while driving a car with a weather alert.

Before Driving In The Rain

No matter where you live, if you are a rideshare driver or a delivery driver, safety starts with prevention. You have to be prepared when the rain starts falling down.

Plan Your Journey

Driving the car in the rain already involves many risks, doing it with the weather alert in progress requires even more attention behind the wheel. Rain is the most frequent cause of flooded roads, floods and haywire traffic in many cities.

The wise thing you can do before a trip is to check what time the rain is going to stop and plan your trip according to it.

Of course some people are forced to drive a car even with a severe storm. Do not worry, we will help you to learn how to drive in the rain.

Know Your Vehicle

If you rented your vehicle through Turo or other rental cars platforms, before you hit the road you should always be sure you know where are located the following controls:

  • The windshield wiper controls
  • Defrost
  • Air conditioner
  • Fan

Check Your Tires

Tires should be in good condition. New tires, or well-maintained tires with optimum tread depth, will contribute to safer driving in the rain. For the rest, you have to drive carefully and conscientiously.

Take Care Of Your Windshield

The key to seeing better in rainy weather is to take good care of your windshield. To do this, make sure to keep it clean and regularly to remove grease stains.

You should also fix cracks or chips in your windshield.

How do you stop rain on my windshield? By applying a rainproof treatment to your windshield, you will be guaranteed to have the best possible visibility in rainy weather, greatly improving your driving comfort even in bad weather conditions.

The windshield treatment is not a substitute for windshield washer fluid. You can consider it as a long-term solution to poor visibility.

Our team at Bestreferraldriver uses Rain x spray. You can find all the Rain X products on their website, in Amazon, Pep Boys. You can even find it in a Target Store, and get it delivered to your home by a Shipt shopper .

Check Your Car Equipment (USB….)

We suggest you have a USB car charger to keep the phone always on and ready for use.

How To Drive In The Rain

We collected some winter-driving rules that will greatly improve your chances of arriving at your destination safely.

Turn On Your Headlights

Keep your headlights on to improve your visibility and check that your brake lights are working. In some countries, having the headlights on when it rains is a legal requirement. For enhanced safety when it rains, turn them on.

I’m sure your next question is: when driving in rain you should use what lights?

Driving in rainy weather you should always use your low beam headlights.

Keep in mind that it is illegal to drive with only your parking lights on.

The high beams can be used when you want to see more and farther under most nightly conditions, however, they must always be deactivated when another vehicle approaches from the other direction. Indeed, there is a risk of reducing visibility or dazzling the drivers. This applies to all types of vehicles, not only for cars but also for bicycles, motorcycles, vans...

Summarizing: You must use low beams in fog, snow, or heavy rain. As for the high beams, you should never use high beams, their light will reflect back and cause glare.

Keep Your Windows Clean By Ventilating Your Car

Everyone knows that the main effect of rain on car windows is humidity.

The rain will fog up your windows, so you should turn on both front and rear window defrosters and your air conditioning.

Additionally, use quality window washer fluid, and make sure your window wipers work properly.

Of course if you are no longer able to see through your windows, you should pull over the car.

💡 PRO TIP: Many people mistakenly believe that glass can only fog up when it's raining outside. But in fact, in any, even dry, hot climate the glass can be completely covered with moisture, making it difficult for the driver to see.

Steady Your Steering Wheel

You should always hold the steering wheel firmly with both hands, especially if the rain comes with a strong wind.

safety tips for driving in the rain

Best Driving Precautions In Rainy Seasons

When driving in rain you must always follow these tips:

1. Increase The Distance Between Your Vehicle And Others

Give more space to other drivers. Double the distance between you and the car in front of you. Braking distances increase on wet roads. It will also help you avoid getting splashed by other vehicles (especially larger ones), further reducing visibility.

But how can you figure out how many car lengths between cars?

You should use the 3 second rule. Here is an example for you.

At 20mph, you multiply by 3 – giving you a stopping distance of 60ft.

For 30mph, you multiply by 3.5, giving you 105ft – and so on, adding 0.5 for every extra 10mph of speed.

2. Slow Down

When it rains the roads are most slippery, the first tip we can share with you is to reduce your speed. To know what is a 'safe speed to drive your vehicle at is always & without exception: the speed at which you take into consideration all the hazards including road conditions.

Of course you should respect the posted speed limit but when driving through fog or rain it is advisable to stay below the speed limit. The slower you go, the better you will control your vehicle - and the easier it will be to brake.

3. Come To A Gradual Stop And Avoid Heavy Braking

When it rains, your brakes won't respond as quickly as they would in dry weather. Try to look as far down the road as possible and slow down by releasing the accelerator pedal - instead of pressing the brake. Avoid using your brakes if you don't have to. Suddenly braking on a wet road can cause your car to skid.

4. Avoid Standing Water Or Flooded Roads

Getting stuck on a flooded road is always an unpleasant situation. If the water level approaches the headlights and the intensity of the rain increases, there is a strong temptation to escape out of the cockpit.

Rather than getting out of the car, it is better to stay safe with the roof over your head and call the emergency numbers. Calm and a cool head will help you not to make rash choices and face greater risks.

Rather, help yourself with Google Maps to give precise indications on where you are.

5. Practice

You can take a defensive driving course and improve your ability to anticipate problems. Of course, theory is always useful, but it should always be only a first step in road safety. Only if you know exactly how to apply your knowledge in practice can you keep your nerve in delicate situations.The best thing is to practice with an experienced instructor.

6. Be Calm

There is nothing more frightening for drivers than losing control of a vehicle when hydroplaning. if your car starts to hydroplane, be calm and try to regain control of your skidded car.

Just slow down and hold on until your vehicle regains contact with the road.

What Are The Best Cars For Rain?

Are you looking for the best cars for winter driving? Here is our pick of the top 10 cars you can confidently drive even with any kind of winter weather:

  • Honda Pilot (We have had an Honda Pilot for a few years now and wanted to highlight its safety features)
  • Mercedes-Benz S Class
  • GMC Yukon Denali
  • Acura RLX

Frequently Asked Questions

Should You Use Cruise Control In The Rain?

When it rains, you should always turn off the cruise control.

If your car starts hydroplaning, the first step you have to take is to gently ease your foot off the gas and avoid steering.

However if you have the cruise control on and want to decelerate, you should either tap the appropriate button on the cruise control system or quickly apply the brake.

When driving in heavy rain drivers should use their experience and always be able to fully control the car.

Is Rain Bad For Your Car?

Driving in heavy rain increases the number of possible vehicle breakdowns as water and humidity can cause various problems for engines and electrical systems. If your vehicle breaks down it is advisable to keep the hood closed to prevent further damage. Do not try to restart the engine if it has stopped running after crossing the high water of a puddle.

Additionally, acid rain can damage your car’s exterior, in particular your car’s paint.

You should always wash your car after the rain because it contains water pollutants.

Does All Wheel Drive Help In Rain?

For those who live or move in areas where the winter season is colder or the weather is more frequent, all wheel drive offers extra safety. Obviously the fundamental rule remains to equip the car with the right tires, not only for winter but also for rain where this is not just an occasional episode.

When It Is Raining Defensive Driving Is Always Best

I hope that with our tips you do not have any more fear of driving in bad weather. If you adopt defensive driving in the rain you can avoid accidents.

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