Home Travel news Driving during winter Driving in heavy rain and flooding

Driving in heavy rain and flooding

Driving in Scotland often means driving in the rain. It is important that you are comfortable behind the wheel in wet conditions, and are full prepared for the difficulties that come with wet, slippery roads and reduced visibility. To help keep you and others stay safe we have some information on driving in wet weather. 

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Consider if you need to travel

When the weather is poor, it is always advisable to try and postpone your trip. However thanks to our Scottish weather, driving in the rain is almost impossible to avoid, so it always pays to be prepared. 

Check your car

  • Make sure your windscreen wipers are working.
  • Ensure your tyre's tread depth is above the 1.6mm legal minimum.
  • Try to have a full tank of petrol. 

Driving in the rain 

Be mindful of other drivers and be a considerate road user when it's raining. Use dipped headlights during daylight hours, slow down, and keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front. Windscreens can quickly fog up in wet weather. Keep your air conditioning on as this will stop this from happening. 

How slowly should I drive in the rain? 

When driving in the rain, it is advisable to reduce your typical speed by around a third. This depends on your car, speed limits, and the conditions. 

Stopping distances in the rain

In wet weather, stopping distances will be at least double those required for stopping on dry roads. This is because your tyres have less grip on the road. 

Driving on flooded roads

Avoid driving in flooded conditions if you can. If you come across flooding and are not sure how deep the water is, turn around and find an alternative route. At best you could damage your car, at worst you could be swept away. Flooding can drastically worsen very quickly, so always be careful and check for weather warnings.

Plan ahead

If there is adverse weather on the horizon it is important to plan your journey. Check the weather at the Met Office website and our traffic info map so you are aware of any potential issues ahead of time.