Safety Tips for Driving on Wet and Slippery Roads


When driving on roads that are wet, extra care needs to be taken when compared to driving on dry roads. Conditions can become slippery as rain water mixes with oil and other dirt on the road and this can cause hazards for drivers. There are some precautions that can be taken by drivers when the roads are wet to keep themselves and other road users safe.

  • The most important safety tip when conditions are wet is to slow down . If a car is moving at a reduced speed then more of the tread of the tire will make contact with the road which can help reduce the likelihood of skidding. This will also make it easier to stop if a car in front of them needs to brake sharply.
    • If a skid does occur then it is important to know how to get out of it . It is the instinct of most people to brake harshly, but this should be avoided. Instead, the brakes should be applied firmly but steadily. The driver should steer in the direction of the skid.
    • Aquaplaning is another hazard that can occur when roads are very wet and drivers should also know how to get out of this . Aquaplaning is more dangerous than skidding because there is more risk of the driver completely losing control of their vehicle. It occurs when a thin layer of water builds up between the tires and the road, meaning that the car is not actually touching the road surface at all. If a driver begins to aquaplane then they should ease their foot off the accelerator until they are able to feel the road beneath them again. They should not try to brake or make any sudden turns. If braking is necessary it should only be done gently.
    • The amount of water between the road and the tires can be reduced if the driver stays in the tracks of the car in front of them . This will also help to prevent skidding and aquaplaning as there will not be so much of a barrier between the tires and the road.
    • Braking distances increase by as much as three times in wet weather and so drivers need to keep a greater distance between their car and the car in front . It is recommended that a distance of two vehicle lengths is kept between the cars. This will reduce the risk of a collision if the car in front needs to brake suddenly.
    • Keeping a car well maintained can help reduce some of the risks that are involved with driving in wet weather. This is particularly true of maintaining the tires . The pressure of the tires should be checked at least once a month and inflated if necessary. Tread depth should also be checked on a regular basis. If tires have the correct depth then traction will be greater and this can reduce the risk of skidding or aquaplaning. Before setting off on a journey in wet weather the driver should make sure that all lights and indicators are working properly. Visibility may be reduced in wet weather and so it is important to have lights on so the car is more likely to be seen by other vehicles. Preparation for the journey should also include ensuring the driver is not too tired as increased levels of concentration are needed when driving in wet weather.
    • If the car has been driven through standing water then the brake shoes may become wet if the water is deep enough . If this has happened then the brakes should be applied as soon as possible after coming through the water. This will allow the driver to test that the brakes are still working and can also help to dry out the brake shoes. If the water has damaged the brakes then it is better to find this out sooner rather than later.

For many drivers, wet weather is not something that can be avoided and so being aware of these safety tips can mean that they are not unnecessarily endangering themselves or others on the road. There are some simple things that can be done before the journey begins and while driving to reduce the risk of encountering any hazards, and dealing with them if they do arise.



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