Increased Risk of Accidents in Rainy Conditions

17 Dec 2019 News & Campaigns
There are numerous factors that can increase the risk of accidents in wet weather. For example, drastically reduced visibility and water spray from other vehicles can lead to poor visibility conditions. DEKRA experts therefore recommend adjusting your driving speed and distance to other vehicles, as well as switching on your dipped headlights and, of course, your windscreen wipers. Another factor to bear in mind is that in the dark, light reflections on the road’s surface can lead to confusing or unclear situations – especially if there is back light. In cases such as this, it is important to drive in a controlled manner and leave adequate safety margins. When it is pouring with rain and visibility drops dramatically, it may even be better to stop and wait for the heavy rain to subside.
It is also important not to underestimate the significantly longer braking distances that are required in rainy weather. When braking on dry roads, a car needs around 31 meters to stop from a speed of 80 km/h. On wet roads, depending on the tread depth of the vehicle’s tires, it may take 50 meters or even longer to come to a stop as a result of lower friction – another reason why it is important to adjust your speed. This is particularly true in cases of restricted visibility.
If there are more than a few millimeters of water on the road – in ruts, for example – drivers should also expect aquaplaning at higher speeds. This is when a wedge of water forms under the front wheels of the vehicle, making steering impossible. This effect can occur even at speeds as low as 80 km/h when a vehicle’s tires have more than three millimeters of tread. If your vehicle begins to aquaplane, you should immediately take your foot off the accelerator, apply the clutch and steer straight ahead until the tires find their grip again.