Driving in wet weather can be textbook dangerous. And with more severe weather events becoming the norm, driving in the rain is becoming a common experience for many on WA roads.
At City Subaru, we value your safety and, of course, your car’s – so instead of giving you more reasons to be worried, we thought we’d give you an actionable list of tips for driving in wet weather. With that, let’s take a look at how to improve your wet weather driving skills while you’re all snug in your new Subaru BRZ.
1. Drive slower
The Subaru BRZ is a fast car – no doubt. But there’s no need to test that speed in the rain. The dangers if you do are very real. Rain doesn’t just make the roads more slippery, it can also cause oils and other liquids on the roads to surface and create a deadly mixture. If you know it hasn’t rained in a while and find yourself in the middle of a rainstorm, your immediate reaction should be to slow down.
If you can’t see at all in heavy rain, you should drastically slow down, put your hazard lights on and come to a gentle stop off to the side or wherever it’s safe to do so.
2. Leave more space between cars
Many drivers forget to leave more space between cars during a downpour. Normally you should leave at least two car lengths between you and the car in front of you. When it’s raining this should increase to 3 or 4. Why?
Cars applying brakes on wet roads are at a heightened risk of sliding on wet roads and causing a pile-up. Also, the braking distance required rises dramatically as the speed increases and this is another good reason to drive slower when it is raining.
3. Check your headlights are on
Headlights allow others to see you and for you to see others.
And wet conditions don’t just make the roads more slippery and dangerous – they also reduce visibility. If you’re driving in the dark – it’s a legal requirement to put on your headlights, however, on a rainy day it’s good practice to flip them on so other cars can see you coming.
4. Brake softer and earlier
Braking in the rain can be a tricky business. When you brake hard and fast it can drastically increase your chance of an accident.
Braking softer and earlier can help prevent your car from sliding into the car in front. This technique also helps you maintain control over the vehicle when the road is particularly wet.
5. Turn your de-misters on
There’s nothing more frustrating than being unable to see out the front windscreen while you’re driving in wet weather. While the wet season is usually mild, mist on the inside of your windshield can creep up on you and have disastrous consequences.
It’s a good idea to turn on your de-misters before you hit the road to avoid this from happening.
6. Beware of pedestrians
Pedestrians are equally caught-out when it comes to wet weather conditions. Umbrella or not, a heavy downpour can take anyone by surprise and make people run for cover or worse, risk crossing the street at the wrong place and time.
As a driver, you must stay hyper-aware of pedestrians – especially if you’re in a built-up area. Observing speed limits isn’t slow enough in these cases – remember to keep it safe and slow.
7. Double-check traction control is on
Driving in wet weather can be quite an exhilarating Experience. But it’s always good to be safe. Some modern models such as Subaru vehicles feature additional safety technologies such as electronic stability control, ABS braking and all-wheel drive to maximise tyre grip. However, if the tyre grip has been compromised, there will be no vehicle control. Always double check your traction control while you’re winding around went and wintry roads.
8. Leave earlier to arrive on time
This is a tough ask, but a good reminder especially to us here in WA where rainy days are few and far between. Think about how far you’ve got to go and how much extra traffic there will be clogging the roads. Rainy days often see more people choosing to take a car rather than riding a bike or walking so it’s good to be prepared. But then you get to the freeway and not only are there more cars – but everyone is driving slower than usual. This is where you can lose the most time. Leave a solid 10-15 minutes earlier on stormy days – especially if you’re travelling during peak hours.
9. Steer clear of enormous puddles
Sometimes it’s tempting to test your car’s performance through large puddles and see how much of a splash you can create. But playing around with large puddles or driving through them has several risks attached. Underestimating the depth can cause damage to your engine or cause you to hit an object under the water – causing damage to your car’s undercarriage or bodywork.
10. Ensure your windscreen wipers are well serviced
You can be driving as slow and as carefully as possible in the rain, but without functioning windscreen wipers your efforts could well be futile. Without proper visibility through your windscreen the chances of a collision increase dramatically. If you notice the rubber of your wipers becoming crusty, or if they make a loud squeaking sound then you should consider getting a replacement or service.
If you want advice or assistance with your new Subaru BRZ, get in touch with our team here at City Subaru. We’ll be happy to help.