How to drive safely in a storm

Ellie Dyer-Brown, 2 years ago

5 min read

  • howto
  • Advice
Driving in a Storm

Every so often, a storm will batter the UK, causing flooding, fallen trees and general chaos. If you absolutely have to drive during bad weather, it pays to be prepared for every eventuality. That's why we've created this handy guide to driving in a storm

Stormy weather hugely affects your driving conditions, impeding your judgement, visibility and control. That's why we've compiled our best advice to keep you safe on the road and your car in tip-top condition. If you have any tips for driving in a storm make sure to let us know in the comments or over on Twitter.

Don't drive in a storm unless you have to

The golden rule for safety in storms is refraining from travelling whenever you can. You should never take risks in storms, so keep a close eye on the news and listen to any weather warnings.

Always drive with dipped headlights

Regardless of the time of day, use your dipped headlights when driving in stormy conditions.

Ensure your wipers are in good condition

Before taking to the roads check the condition of your windscreen wipers. Good visibility is the key to safety!

In thunder and lightning, stay in your vehicle

Its safer to stay in your car than go outside in a storm. As cars are metal-topped, the lightning’s current can travel through the car’s metal work and back into the ground. Although, be careful not to touch any of the car’s metal parts as lightning can move through a car’s electrical system. This includes both the radio and your mobile phone .  

Slow down sooner

The rain makes your stopping distance longer, so it's important to give yourself more time to come to a halt. Braking sooner and slower will decrease any chances of your vehicle hydroplaning.

Avoid any puddles

If possible and safe, drive around any deep puddles or find another route. If you have to drive through one, approach it very slowly as getting water in the engine can damage your cooling systems.

If in traffic, increase distance between you and other vehicles

Where the usual 3 second distance rule applies in traffic, extend it to a five second gap between yourself and other vehicles. Also, try to stay away from high-sided lorries and buses as their larger tyres will spray up more water and in turn massively reduce your visibility.

If visibility is bad, pull off the road into a safe spot

Nothing is going to improve your visibility in a downpour of extreme rain; driving quickly becomes more dangerous. Your best bet is to safely head towards a covered area nearby until the rain dies down. Don't park under tall objects such as trees, as they can topple over in windy conditions. Ensure that you put your hazards on when parked and turn other vehicle lights off so that other drivers aren’t left confused.

Make sure your phone is fully charged

If there was ever going to be a time for chaos, it's in a storm. Make sure your phone has full charge whenever you go out and keep your charger with you, you will be thanking yourself if a crisis occurs.

Above all please stay safe in the bad weather, follow the above tips to remain as safe as possible when driving in the adverse conditions.