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Driving in rain

Driving in rain can be risky. You are more likely to be tired and cold. The road is slippery, traction may be poor, visibility is reduced and your brakes may be less effective. The best thing to do is to sit it out. However, if you cannot avoid driving in the rain, here are some tips:

  • Make yourself visible. Wear bright colours and reflective or fluorescent material.
  • Have good equipment. Make sure you have good tire tread, a quality helmet and face shield, as well as warm clothing. A one-piece rain suit will help keep you warm and dry.
  • Reduce speed. It takes a lot longer to stop on slippery surfaces. You must make up for this by driving at slower speeds. It is particularly important to reduce your speed on curves. Remember that speeds posted on curves apply to good surface conditions.
  • Avoid sudden moves. Any sudden change in speed or direction can cause a skid on slippery surfaces. Turn, brake, accelerate and change gears as smoothly as possible.
  • Use both brakes. Both brakes together are more effective than the back brake alone, even on a slippery surface.
  • Avoid the most slippery areas. Oil from other vehicles tends to build up in the centre of the lane, particularly near intersections where vehicles slow down or stop. Avoid standing water, mud and other dangerous surfaces, such as wet metal or leaves.
  • Watch out for shiny areas and puddles. Old worn pavement is often polished smooth and is very slippery when wet. You can spot these extra slippery sections if you look for shiny areas on the road surface. Puddles can hide potholes and traction is worse in deep water.
  • Avoid driving in puddles. A puddle can hide a large pothole that could damage your vehicle or its suspension, or flatten a tire. The spray of water could obstruct the vision of adjacent motorists and result in a collision, cause harm to nearby pedestrians or drown your engine, causing it to stall. Water can also make your brakes less effective.
  • Stay away from the edge of the road when you make sharp turns at intersections or enter or exit freeways. Dirt and gravel tend to collect along the sides of the pavement and can cause you to slide.
Illustration of someone riding in the rain