Driving in bad weather Lessons Note

Avoid driving during severe weather (e.g. storms, heavy rain, flooding, extreme heatwaves and bushfires). If unavoidable, drive cautiously and adjust your speed to the conditions.

Avoid danger by listening for radio updates on weather conditions and adjust your route accordingly. Bring lots of water and take rest breaks at appropriate locations.

Driving in wet weather and water

Aquaplaning happens when enough water on the road surface causes your vehicle to lose traction and makes the vehicle unresponsive. You can reduce the risk of aquaplaning by reducing your speed.

After driving through a deep puddle, brake lightly a couple of times

Driving through deep water requires extra care and lower speeds as you have no idea what may be hiding under the water. The road surface may be damaged, and the water may be hiding debris.

  • Don’t go into flowing water
  • Don’t cross if the water level is too high or fast moving.

Your brakes can lose some of their effectiveness after driving through water. It is recommended that you gently test your brakes to make sure they function properly. If they don’t, you should gently apply your brakes until they are dry and work again.

General tips for driving in bad weather

When driving in bad weather conditions (e.g. dust, rain, snow or fog):

  • Slow down!
  • At least double your following distance, so you have time to react and stop
  • Use the windscreen wiper and/or air conditioner to keep your windscreen clear
  • Turn on headlights when you have trouble seeing other people/vehicles clearly. Try to keep all lights clean so that they work properly
  • Only use fog lights when driving in reduced visibility conditions or if you’re likely to obstruct other road users by driving slowly
  • If you don't have fog lights, use low beam headlights. When foggy, you can often see better on low beam than high beam
This sign warns that the road will be gravel ahead. You should slow down and prepare for worse road conditions.


Skidding is caused by:

  • Faulty brakes
  • Excessive or sudden braking
  • Driving too fast for the conditions (e.g. when wet weather or gravel roads)
  • Turning too sharply (causing the wheels to lose traction)
  • Accelerating too quickly

Prevent skidding by following the ‘Smooth ABC’ plan - Accelerate, Brake and Corner smoothly.

Skidding is more common on slippery roads
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