7 safety tips for driving in heavy rain and floods

By Rhona Shennan
Friday, 21st February 2020, 2:52 pm
Updated Friday, 21st February 2020, 2:55 pm
Make sure you don't get caught out driving in the rain (Photo: Shutterstock)
Make sure you don't get caught out driving in the rain (Photo: Shutterstock)

With the weather being less than ideal for driving recently, and it set to continue as such, it’s important that motorists are prepared for all conditions.

These are seven safety tips for driving in extreme weather conditions that have been issued by Lease Plan UK.

Plan your journey

As traffic moves off flooded A roads, the motorways are more likely to become congested - set aside extra time for your journey to make sure you’re not caught out by slow moving traffic jams.

You should also bring your mobile phone, a flask with something to drink, and some wellington boots, just in case the unexpected happens.

Clear vision

It’s likely that your windscreen wipers are going to be working overtime in the bad weather, make sure that they aren’t worn or damaged, as it’s imperative that they are working properly.

If they don’t seem quite up to scratch, you should have them replaced to ensure that you have the best visibility you can in the rain.

See and be seen

As well as proper windscreen wipers, you’ll also want to make sure your lights are in perfect working order.

You’ll want to pay special attention to your brake lights, and switch on headlights during heavy rain.

Stopping distance

You’ll want to double the stopping distance that you’d usually allow between you and the car in front, due to the fact that your stopping distance in wet weather is longer.

Make sure and gently test your brakes after entering water and they might not be as responsive as they were before.

Go slow

Don’t attempt to try and drive quickly through standing water, as this puts you and your vehicle at risk of aquaplaning.

Also be aware that the road might also have potholes that, if flooded, you’d be unable to avoid, which could cause you even more damage.

Be aware of depth and speed

If the rain and flooding is so bad that you cannot see the road or kerb, you don’t know how deep the water actually is. It’s recommended that you drive slowly, at one to two miles per hour, through deeper water, remaining in the centre of the road.

You should remain in a low gear, and keep your revs high to prevent water from entering your exhaust pipe.

If the water is deeper than 10cm or you’re unsure how to proceed, you should think about attempting an alternative route instead to be safe.


If your vehicle breaks down in flood water, you should switch on your hazard warning lights and get out of the car.

Don’t leave the bonnet open, as heavy rain may only add to the engine damage, and call immediately for breakdown assistance or emergency services.

This article originally appeared on our sister site The Scotsman