Driving in heavy rain, snow and different weather

3 Minutes

You might not want to read this article now, but we recommend saving it for a rainy day.


Today’s weather forecast:


… Scattered showers.

Tips for driving in heavy rain

Our top tip is simple. Drive carefully. When driving in heavy rain especially, keep your distance from the car in front in case they slow down or stop suddenly.

On wet roads, the highway code recommends doubling the normal two-second gap, giving us a heavy rain stopping distance of four seconds.

Remember, it’s not a race and there’s no raining champion to beat. Sorry, we’ll rain the puns in now.

The first thing to do is make sure you’re keeping on top of your car maintenance and check your car’s tyre tread. You only need a 20p coin to do this so it’s worth checking out this handy video which walks you through it.

Once you’re actually driving, make sure you reduce your speed. Not only will your visibility be reduced by heavy rain, but your stopping distance will be increased. Look at Rule 227 of the Highway Code for more on this.

Make sure you’re using dipped headlights so other drivers can see you; don’t use fog lights though, as it just dazzles other drivers and makes it even more dangerous for them.

Lastly, be gentle on the accelerator and brake pedals because sudden changes in wheel rotations can lead to aquaplaning, and losing control of the vehicle.

How to drive safely in snow

You’ve got nobody but yourself to blame if you slip on your driveway... because it’s your own asphalt. Seriously though, ice on the road and driving in a blizzard is snow joke.

You should only drive in snow or icy conditions when it’s absolutely necessary. If the journey's essential, remember to drive slowly and carefully and leave plenty of time to get where you’re going. Check out the Government’s advice and laws (Rules 228-231) on driving in snow.

Cold, snowy weather can be fun, even magical, for some... but only to a certain degree. You need to make sure your windscreen is completely clear – not only scraped around the main area you’re looking out of. You should also clear your roof, windows, and lights of any snow that's settled, as not doing this may result in points to your licence.

Just like driving in heavy rain, stopping distances will be significantly increased when driving in snow – keep well back from the person in front as it can take ten times the distance to stop on snow compared to dry roads.

How to drive in windy conditions?

Life’s not always a breeze, and you should be cautious of driving in windy conditions – particularly across long, open stretches, and also when passing bridges, or where there’s a gap in the shrubs. Even though taller vehicles are generally affected most by this, gusts of wind can put any vehicle off course.

Lighter vehicles such as small hatchbacks and motorbikes should be particularly cautious when overtaking taller vehicles due to the differing turbulence of air around the larger vehicle.

So, now you can sound like a real snow it all to your friends. When the weather’s particularly bad, it’s best to take a rain-check on your journey unless it’s considered essential travel. If you’d like to share this article, remember to tag us @flowinsuranceuk on Facebook or Instagram and don’t forget the hashtag #GoWithTheFlow