How to drive in the rain safely

Lesson Type
Last updated: 12 Nov 2019

Let’s face it, motorists in the UK get more experience than many when it comes to driving in wet conditions, and by the time you've finished your driving lessons, you'll probably have a ton of experience. Even in the summer, we’re hardly immune to the odd torrential downpour, and as such, drivers in Great Britain need to be confident when it comes to driving in the rain.

That’s easier said than done though – especially if you’re a new driver or someone who doesn’t drive all that often. Confidence is key behind the wheel at the best of times, but by bearing a few of the following tips in mind, you should be able to improve your mindset when driving in the wet.

How to drive in the rain

Braking distances

Firstly, it’s important to remember the fact that stopping distances will be longer when driving in the rain. Water on a road’s surface has a detrimental effect on a car’s ability to stop when compared to dry conditions. Never forget that.

If you need more space to brake then it makes sense to drive further away from the car in front. It’s safer and you won’t have to worry about the spray from the car in front obscuring your view of the road.

Slow down, think ahead

Your car is harder to see in bad weather, and so are other people’s. Make sure that you signal clearly, don’t suddenly switch lanes or pull out of junctions and make sure that you’re being extra wary of other motorist; just because you’re trying extra-hard doesn’t mean that everyone else is.

If you spot a cyclist unlucky enough to be stuck out in the rain, don’t drive too close and make sure you leave plenty of room if you overtake. The same applies for motorcycles. Remember that our friends on two wheels might need to suddenly manoeuvre their bike to avoid deep puddles or drain covers – be prepared for sudden and unexpected manoeuvres.

The world can’t stop because of a bit of bad weather, but if it’s so wet outside that you don’t feel comfortable going out and driving, then don’t. If you do drive in the rain, only drive at a speed you feel comfortable with and make sure you can see properly out of your auto windscreens at all times. In wet weather, it’s sometimes not safe to drive to the speed limit, so if you feel unable to do so don’t push it in order to appease drivers behind you. They can always overtake you if they’re that insistent on putting their own lives at risk.

Catherine Halsey is based in Edinburgh and writes for a digital marketing agency on a range of topics. This article links back to

Image via tchandok@Flickr