Driving safe when it’s wet and windy!


We all know the weather is super volatile here in the Waterloo region, and lately we’ve been blessed with a ton of rain. Driving safely can be a challenge when the weather is wet and rainy. Driving in the rain may not seem like the most pressing safety issue for drivers, especially with winter on its way, but we all know that driving in any type of severe weather – whether it be snow, rain, or wind, can be potentially dangerous for you, your passengers, and other drivers.

The most important thing to remember is that severe weather demands you undivided attention – turn down your music and turn your phone off. In some cases of severe rain and wind, don’t be afraid to just pull over and wait it out!

Driving in heavy winds

While driving in the wind does not sound particularly risky, driver must use caution when driving in extremely windy conditions. Strong wind is very common in wide open areas, highway overpasses, and tunnels. The following tips will keep you safe and on the road when you encounter heavy winds:

  • Be ready for gusts of wind. Take special case when driving through windy areas, and keep a strong grip on your steering wheel in case wind causes your vehicle to pull to the side.
  • Be aware of large vehicles. Large vehicles on the road such as tractor trailers and recreational vehicles are more susceptible to high winds, and drivers may encounter challenges staying in their lane. Give these vehicles lots of space whether you are behind or beside them.
  • Keep a firm grip on the wheels. Keep both hands on the wheel in case the wind causes your vehicle to move. This is especially important if you are driving a large vehicle or hauling a trailer.

Driving in heavy rain

Driving in the rain not only causes poor visibility, but makes your vehicle more susceptible to hydroplaning. Hydroplaning occurs when a vehicle is travelling too fact in rainy conditions, and the tires travel on a thin layer of water on the road’s surface, as opposed to making direct contact with the road. This makes steering and braking extremely difficult and could lead to loss of vehicular control. The tips below will ensure you and your passengers stay safe while driving in the rain.

  • Take your time. Reducing your speed is the only way to prevent your vehicle from hydroplaning. Keep in mind that the most dangerous time to drive is just after it beginning raining, because oils on the road create slick and slippery conditions. Take your time getting to your destination and make sure to leave early if you are concerned about being late, so that you are not tempted to speed.
  • Turn your lights on. Turn on your headlights so that other vehicles can see you more easily. New vehicles must have daytime running lights, but old vehicles often don’t.
  • Give other vehicles more space. Make sure there is extra space between you and the vehicle in front of you when it is raining. Stopping is more difficult in rainy conditions, so you need to leave room in front of you so that you can better react to traffic.

Looks like we are in for a sunny weekend, but remember these tips next time you are driving in less than favourable conditions. As with driving in every condition, the most important things to keep in mind when driving in wind and rain are to take your time, be aware of your surroundings, and minimize distractions. Drive safe, not sorry!

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