If it’s raining, icy, snowing or foggy, conditions on the road will be more dangerous. You need to drive with extra care.

Tips for driving in bad weather

Check your car

Good brakes, tyres, windscreen wipers, lights and steering are even more important in wet weather. Check your vehicle regularly to make sure they’re all in good condition.

Adjust your driving

Wet, frosty or icy roads can be very slippery. You need to increase your following distance because it takes longer to stop on a slippery surface. Use the 4 second rule to increase your following distance. Roads are extra slippery just after it starts to rain, and will stay slippery until the rain has washed any oil off the road.

4-second rule

Watch your visibility

Visibility, how far you can see, can be seriously reduced by rain, snow or fog. This can increase the risk of a crash. To improve visibility, keep all windows and mirrors clean. Don’t let windows fog up – turn on the demister or open a window.

Brake carefully

Unless your vehicle has anti-lock braking system (ABS) brakes, don’t brake too hard when it’s wet. You may go into a dangerous skid. Instead, pump the brakes gently. 

If your vehicle has ABS brakes, never pump the brakes in an emergency. Keep the pedal pressed down hard and steer out of trouble. Don’t be overconfident in your driving just because your vehicle has ABS brakes.


Be aware of approaching vehicles, especially large trucks, as these can spray water on your windscreen as they pass. Even if it’s stopped raining, if the road is still wet, you may need to turn on your windscreen wipers as the truck approaches.

Reduce speed

On a wet road, driving at the speed limit could be too fast for the conditions. You can lose control very easily in wet weather, especially if you have to brake suddenly, so slow down.

Dip your headlights in fog

If you drive with your headlights on full beam in fog, the light will just reflect back on you. Dip your lights – it’ll be much easier to see. 

Don’t just turn your park lights on. They’re hard for oncoming drivers to see and do little to improve your vision. 

Front fog lamps have a wide, low beam of white or yellow light to help you see better in fog or snow. 

Rear fog lamps have a low beam of red light to help following vehicles see you better in snow or fog. You should only use fog lamps in conditions of severely reduced visibility, like fog or snow. 

It’s an offence to use fog lamps under clear atmospheric conditions, even during the hours of darkness.