Adhering to safe driving in the rain is vital for those who enjoy taking their 4x4s into the wild during the winter months. Things can get real slippery out on the beaten track during the wet seasons, so it’s important to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your Defender.
When off-roading in the rain, chances are you’ll be tackling more than one element. This could have you driving through mud, making turns against a strong wind, and much more. Read below as we give you a few tips for safe driving in the rain, so your wet adventure is as safe as it is thrilling.
7 Tips for Safe Driving in the Rain
1. Before You Head Off, Air Down Your Tires
Your Defender will need a lot more traction when driving on wet trails. Let out some air from your tires to increase the surface area. This allows the treads more contact with the ground, and it will be imperative if you have to drive through sand or mud.
This will also make it less likely for your wheels to spin and dig into wet surfaces.
2. Drive as Slow as Possible, and as Fast as Necessary
When roads are wet and slippery, you need to reduce your speed. Remember, speed limits placed along the road are only suitable for ideal conditions. So, it’s not a good idea to speed up just because a road sign says so.
Your chances of losing control and skidding are much higher on a wet road. Trust us, slow and steady really does win the race in this instance.
3. Improve Your Visibility With Quick Thinking
A sudden downpour can quickly make it challenging to follow road markings or see what’s ahead of you. Your first option is to drive in a lane that won’t have vehicles obstructing your vision (which is more likely on the open road). Secondly, you could follow a vehicle similar in size to yours to see through their front and back windscreens.
Avoid as much as possible getting behind large trucks that may further obstruct your vision.
4. Avoid Driving Through Water, if You Can
For an inexperienced off-roader, driving through water can be a major challenge. And when it comes to driving in the rain, you’ll want to avoid it at all costs. Even small puddles can be dangerous because you don’t know how deep of a pothole it may be hiding.
If you find there is no way around the water obstacle, it’s best to get out and gauge the depth of the water yourself. Also, remember that fast-moving water can sweep your 4×4 away or damage it internally.
5. Check Your Brakes After Driving Through Water
After driving through a water hazard, your brakes may be saturated, and so you’ll need to dry them out. Drive slowly and brake gently until you’re sure that they’re holding onto each tire.
6. Be Extra Careful on Dirt Roads and Mountains
Dirt roads present a higher chance of the elements affecting their surface. These can take the form of landslides, more puddles, and basically just slip and slide hazards everywhere. Avoid driving on the edge of these roads and in extremely wet conditions as they become soft and washout.
You also need to take extra care when driving up and down hills, as your traction, braking and steering ability could be compromised due to a wet surface.
7. Always Keep a Lookout for all Obstacles
You don’t only need to keep a lookout for natural objects and potholes, but animals, pedestrians, and other vehicles too. You need to drive slowly enough to detect anything that may be in your way and stop in time to prevent a collision.
A good rule of thumb is keeping your distance of visibility four times that of your stopping distance. This will help you to stop your vehicle before an accident occurs.
Whether you love off-roading in wet weather or just need to take precautions during the next downpour, these tips will help you get to your destination come rain or shine. And what’s more, you’ll have our trusty Defender to help you tackle all the elements.
Take on the off-road terrain in a 4×4 that can take you anywhere. Soon enough, you’ll be keen to go Overlanding in a thunderstorm!
Contact us today, and we’ll help you get your hands on a Land Rover Defender built to withstand any kind of weather.