driving in the rain

Whether it's the rainy season or a normal day, chances are you will encounter a scenario where you will be driving in the rain. The Philippines is a tropical country after all and we are exposed to many kinds of weather conditions. While you may encounter rain while being stuck in traffic, which isn’t that bad, traveling at higher speeds, especially in lower visibility and wet condition can be a tricky experience.

With that being said, we have created a short list of tips and tricks you can use to make sure that you are safe while driving in the rain and how you can get better at it.

We can’t always perfectly predict when the rain will happen, however, the weather forecast is there to help you. Before you set off, especially in the rainy season, give the weather forecast a quick once over to see if heavy rain is to be expected, if it is and your trip isn’t an important occasion then its best to just stay indoors, but if you must go do the following:

  • Check your tire tread depth

  • Fill up with fuel and expect heavy traffic

  • Familiarize yourself with the climate controls of your car so your windshield doesn’t fog up

  • Listen to the radio for weather news and updates

  • Make sure to also charge your phone or make sure that your car phone charger is working.

Driving in the rain

If you really need to go out and it is about to rain or is raining already there are a few things you can do to ensure that you won’t get into an accident. With rainwater in play, some roads can get slippery which can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. You can even end up in a situation where your car will aquaplane which can lead to serious crashes. 

Aquaplaning or hydroplaning can happen if you are driving at a high rate of speed and a wedge of water can build up between the tire and the road surface. This can cause the tire to lose contact with the road and you lose control of the car. This will also make your car no longer responsive to steering inputs which can cause a crash. To avoid this you can do the following:

  • Make sure your tires are inflated correctly

  • Make sure that the tire tread depth is thick

  • Change your tires regularly

  • Reduce speed while driving in wet weather

If you were paying attention to the previously mentioned steps on how to prevent hydroplaning, some of the steps there are what you need to pay attention to if you want to get better at driving in wet weather.

watch your speed

Watch your speed

One of the best ways to make sure that you are safe in wet weather is to monitor your speed and not drive too quickly. This will ensure that your tires have a good amount of grip and that you can perform emergency braking safely. Remember that in wet weather conditions the distance that it takes for your car to stop increases as the road conditions worsen so it's always best to keep it at a lower speed or the minimum speed if you are driving on the highway.

Car distance

Leave plenty of room between you and the car ahead

When driving in the rain make sure that you leave plenty of room between you and the car in front of you. We recommend a gap of at least four seconds so that you have more time to react and more time to stop your car in the event of an emergency.

car headlights

Use your headlights

In wet weather especially in low visibility, making sure that you are visible is something that will improve your safety. This is why you should turn on your headlights when it rains. The more visible you are to other drivers the better they can predict where you are going and what you are about to do. Make sure, however, that you do not use your hazard lights in the rain as you may confuse other drivers as to what your intentions are. If you can’t see what a head just pull over then use your hazard lights.

climate controls

Use your air conditioning to prevent condensation

One thing that can cause you to lose visibility while driving in wet weather is your air conditioning system. This feature, while great, can cause the windshield to fog up and make you lose visibility of the road ahead. With that in mind, it's always a good idea to familiarize yourself with it and how to use it along with the defogging feature that comes as standard with all cars. In this manner, your view of the road ahead won’t be obstructed and you can see any hazards ahead. 

brake pedal

Take your foot off the gas pedal and don't brake when you aquaplane

While this relates back to aquaplaning, it's always a good idea not to hit the brakes when you encounter this situation. Why? It can cause you to further lose control of your car, and result in a spin. It's best to just slowly and gently ease off the throttle and make sure you hold the steering wheel at a straight and steady angle. Then relax your grip on the steering wheel until you feel that you are back in control of your car. After you feel that you have complete control of your car then can you start hitting the brakes. 

With that said, if you follow these tips you will find yourself becoming more confident behind the wheel in wet weather and become a safer driver as well. 

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