Heavy Rain And Road Spray

Poor drivers will tell you that headlights are fitted to cars so that you can see where you are going in the dark. Wise drivers, on the other hand, will tell you that headlights let you see and be seen.


If you are traveling at 40mph, your car covers almost sixty feet per second, but how long did it take you to spot the two vehicles without lights in this photograph? (Yes, there are two. One is coming out of a side road.) Photo: Ian Britton, freefoto.com

Reduced visibility is one of the two main challenges to drivers during rainfall or heavy surface spray, and the other is a reduction in grip between the tires and the road surface, but we will come to that below.


A rule for wise drivers: “Windshield wipers on means low-beam headlights on, too!”
Unlike the third car, let other drivers and pedestrians see you in good time here.
Photo: Ian Britton, freefoto.com

The reason that you must never rely on “Daytime Running Lights” in poor light or lousy visibility is, of course, that they only operate at the front of the vehicle. However, if you are driving in heavy surface spray, fog, heavily falling snow, or half-light, your rear lights are vital to your safety. If you cannot be seen clearly from behind, then one day, it is inevitable that your car will be hit. And if it just happens to be an 18-wheeler coming up back…


High-intensity rear fog lights will be mentioned in the sections on fog and heavy falling snow. In bad weather, they are excellent for extra protection.

In bad weather conditions, the other potential hazard is the reduction of traction between your tires and the road surface.

Always allow that stopping your car when the road is wet can take you twice as far. For following another vehicle on a dry road, the rule says, “Only a fool breaks the two-second rule,” but when the road is wet, it is essential to allow at least a four-second gap between vehicles rather than two.