Driving in the rain

Driving in the rain is very different from driving in fair weather. When the road is wet, your tyres can lose their grip on the road and your perception is dramatically reduced. Also, it's harder to see other vehicles, road signs and the road itself.

Even when you have your parent/supervisor's guidance, wet weather can be scary for everyone in the car. Look on the bright side – learning to prepare for tricky driving situations now will mean that you’re better equipped to deal with them on your Ps when you’re likely to be dealing with them alone.

See Tactics for tricky situations for tips to help you prepare for new and stressful driving experiences.

We’ve put together some basic tips for safer driving in the rain; try working together with your parent/supervisor or driving instructor to see if you can add to the list.

  • Give yourself more travel time. This will allow you to drive at a slower, safer pace and cope with the probability of heavy traffic. 

  • Turn on your headlights – even in light rain – to help you see, and be seen.

  • Turn on your front and rear defoggers to keep your windows clear.

  • It takes longer to stop in the wet, so increase your crash avoidance space and drive more slowly than you normally would.

  • Brake earlier, and less forcefully, than you normally would. This increases the stopping distance between you and the car in front, and signals to the driver behind that you’re slowing down.

  • Keep a sharp lookout for pedestrians – ordinarily attentive people may become distracted by opening an umbrella or rushing to get out of the wet, and they may find it harder to hear your approach over the sound of the rain. 

  • If you can’t see the road or the car in front of you – or you are feeling too anxious – pull over safely and wait until the rain eases.

Understand the experience

After you've done some driving in the rain, share your thoughts with your parent or supervisor. Talk about how well you think you went, how it affects you, and work out ways you can improve next time.

Keys2drive is an Australian Government-funded program providing learner drivers and their parents/supervisors a free driving lesson with a Keys2drive accredited professional driving instructor