As drivers hit the roads this winter, it’s especially important they exercise extra caution when roads are wet. A rainy day can be one of the most dangerous times to drive. Rain decreases your visibility, and in addition, tire traction is significantly diminished on wet roads, making your vehicle much more difficult to control. It takes the average vehicle twice as long to stop on a wet road as on a dry road. The first general rule for driving on a wet road is to slow down. You should also use the low-beams, so that other drivers can see you. Also, check the condition of your wipers periodically, and clean your windshield often so the wipers will work as efficiently as possible. Here are some more tips for driving in wet weather:
  • Drive in the tracks left by the vehicle ahead of you. This area of the road should have better traction than the surrounding areas because of the displacement of water caused by the vehicle ahead of you.
  • Be as smooth as possible. Don't make quick stops or abrupt turns. These types of maneuvers could cause your tires to lose traction, causing skids.
  • Leave extra space to brake. Start to brake earlier before attempting to turn or stop, and increase your following distance between the vehicles ahead.
  • Slow down through deep water. As tempting as it may be, purposely driving fast through deep water to experience roof-high splashes, or "rooster tails" is extremely dangerous. The chances of hydroplaning and losing total control of your vehicle are increased substantially.
  • Do not overload your vehicle to the rear. Overloading may reduce traction and make your vehicle more difficult to handle through deep water. It is best to balance the weight of passengers and/or cargo between the front and rear of your vehicle. Shifting to a lower gear is also recommended. For more driver safety info, visit or contact Masa Patterson, Fleet Safety Director at