driving in the rain

As a new driver, you might encounter some challenging terrain and weather conditions that you didn't face during your driving lessons. One common scenario is driving alone in heavy rain. Trusting your instincts and following some essential tips can help you navigate safely.

Here are some tips for new drivers when they are driving in the rain, along with some valuable resources to help you stay safe on the road.

  • Turn on your headlights, no matter how light the rain is. This not only improves your visibility but also allows others to see you. Check your local laws for regulations on using headlights in rain.
  • Slow down. Prioritize your safety and that of other drivers and pedestrians by reducing your speed. Give yourself extra time to reach your destination. If someone is waiting for you, they will understand.
  • Exercise extra caution after a long dry spell. Oil and grease build up on the road, and after heavy rain, surfaces can become very slick. Drive carefully until the residue washes away.
  • Maintain a safe distance between vehicles. This gives you more time to react to unexpected situations.
  • When braking, apply gentle pressure and allow yourself more time to stop. This also gives the vehicles behind you more time to react.
  • Follow the tire tracks of the vehicle in front of you. This can help reduce the amount of water your tires have to displace.
  • Keep a safe distance from large trucks and buses. Their large tires can splash water onto your windshield, impairing your visibility. However, avoid passing them in the rain, if possible.
  • Ensure clear visibility through your windows at all times. Use your defrosters to prevent windows from fogging up.
  • Stay on the road. Avoid veering off onto muddy or unstable surfaces.
  • Approach puddles with caution. They could be deeper than they appear, so try to go around them if possible.
  • Never drive through moving water. You can't accurately judge its depth, and your vehicle may be swept away.
  • Don't hesitate to pull over if visibility becomes poor. In some situations, it's much safer to stop driving until conditions improve.
  • If you hydroplane, remain calm and avoid overreacting. Instead of hitting the brakes or turning the wheel abruptly, release the gas pedal slowly and steer straight until your car regains traction.
  • Prepare your car for rainy conditions. Maintain well-functioning windshield wipers, adequate tires, and brakes on your car.

Driving in the rain can be intimidating, especially for new drivers. Give yourself extra time, drive cautiously, and remember that experience will help you become more comfortable over time.

If the rain is particularly heavy and you have the option, consider waiting for the downpour to pass before hitting the road. Assess whether your trip is necessary or if it can be postponed. If you're already driving and visibility becomes dangerously low, pull over to the side of the road, ensuring that you're completely off the roadway to avoid collisions with other drivers who may not see you.

If you're not comfortable driving in the rain, don't hesitate to ask for help. Your parents or another experienced adult may be willing to accompany you during rainy conditions, helping you gain confidence and become a safer driver. You can also enroll in advanced driving courses that cover driving in adverse weather conditions, such as those offered by the Traffic School Online program.

Remember, practice and experience are the keys to becoming a skilled and confident driver in all types of weather. As you gain more experience driving in the rain, you'll develop the skills needed to navigate safely and responsibly. Stay cautious, be prepared, and don't be afraid to seek help or additional training when necessary.