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Road conditions: driving in rain

Driving in rain is something that you can be sure you will experience regularly once you are an actual driver, although depending where you live and the time of year you learnt, you might have experienced it surprisingly little whilst you were learning to drive.

Now, when it comes to driving in the rain, braking is most clearly affected. Indeed if you have to break quickly it can take twice or longer for you to be able to stop the car. The reason for this is that the grip of the tyres on the road surface is less effective when it is wet, and so in addition the wheels can lock up.

This means that you should brake less strongly than you would in ordinary road conditions, and pro rata you should adjust your speed to the road conditions and go more slowly in rain than you normally would.

If there are any visibility issues at all from the rain even if it is light, then as a first step you should use your headlights on dipped. And make sure the windscreen is always clean: some learners have never actually needed to put the wipers on until they have passed their test, and indeed to squirt the windscreen also to clean it.

Sometimes you might have to drive through water on the road, such as a ford.

Common sense tells you to look for the shallowest point in it, as far as you can tell, and indeed that is what you should do, before driving through it slowly. When doing so you should select first gear and keeping the engine speed relatively high so that you do not risk stalling.

It is recommended that whenever you've been through water like that you then test the brakes afterwards to ensure that they are not affected: to do this simply drive slowly with one foot on the accelerator on the other pressing gently on the brake. This will let you test that the brakes are still working well.

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