Tips for driving in the rain

Van Breakdown Cover

British weather, particularly the winter, is so unpredictable. Heavy rain can strike suddenly. In wet weather, stopping distances will be at least double those required for stopping on dry roads. This is because your tyres have less grip on the road.

If you must drive in heavy rain, before setting off:

  • Check the local and national weather forecasts.
  • Listen to local and national radio for travel information.
  • Tell someone at your destination what time you expect to arrive.
  • Check your windscreen wipers, and replace if necessary.

What else should I do?

The golden rule is to keep well back from the vehicle in front. This will increase your ability to see and plan ahead. Also:

  • If the steering becomes unresponsive, ease off the accelerator and slow down gradually. The water is probably preventing the tyres from gripping the road.
  • The rain and spray from vehicles may make it difficult to see and be seen.

What should I take with me?

Having a breakdown kit in your car at all times is a good idea. Also, pack some spare clothes, food and drink and your mobile phone. It’s a good idea to pre-load your phone with relevant numbers such as those of local emergency services.

What about floods?

If roads are flooded, don’t attempt to cross if the water seems too deep. Drive slowly in first gear but keep the engine speed high by slipping the clutch – this will stop you from stalling.

What if I break down in heavy rain?

Pull over to a safe and visible place and wait for help to arrive. (And remember to avoid propping the bonnet open while you wait for help to arrive – the engine will be more difficult to start again if the electrics are all rain-soaked.)