Driving at Night in the Rain

Wet WeatherIf there is one driving situation that I like the least, it has to be driving at night when it is raining. It was like driving into a wet coal sack and many of the environmental cues that I used to position my vehicle were unavailable to me. Although proper vision was my biggest worry, traction is also reduced and that must be taken into account.

Rain scatters headlight beams and makes them less effective than they would be on a clear night. This means that I could not see as far as I might otherwise be able to. Add the ability of wet pavement to reflect the light of oncoming vehicles and the lines that I need to see are no longer visible.

I knew from driver training that I needed to focus on the dark part of the road when I met other vehicles. My peripheral vision monitored their position and my pupils would not close as much. If one looks at the headlights of approaching vehicles you will be blinded briefly after they pass. This blind time becomes longer as we age.

Tire traction is reduced on wet pavement, particularly when the tread is worn. This means that my ability to turn, stop or accelerate is compromised.  I must leave more room and moderate my speed to anticipate and react to the other vehicles around me. If the trip is not important, I may choose to make the trip later when conditions are better.

Reference Links:

Weather and Accidents: Rain and Fog



Driving at night when it's

Driving at night when it's raining is one of the worst combinations. I have a Renault Megane, a wonderful car, fast to react on the slightest touch BUT the lights are simply terrible. I drove a new Dacia Logan and even this car has the lights five times better. I think that it is not a bad idea to get xenons, if you drive often in hard conditions, it will pay off.

"I think that it is not a bad

"I think that it is not a bad idea to get xenons, if you drive often in hard conditions, it will pay off."

Perhaps for you, but have you considered the oncoming traffic? Let's blind the driver of the oncoming vehicle! The article mentions this, and while I agree with his method to avert the eyes, it is very hard to see anything when the lights are blinding.

Also, when did it become legal to have more than 2 sets of low beams? It's hard enough to get drivers to keep one set adjusted and with the second set sitting so low to the ground it's easier for those to be maladjusted.

It's been almost three months now since my drive home (40 k on rural highways) and I can tell you that I hate vehicles with plasma and 4 sets of low beams. And don't get me started with jacked-up trucks and their plasma lights!

Oh you are totally right

Oh you are totally right about blinding the other drivers - I hate when people do that to me. I always pay attention and turn them off when I see a car in front of me, but indeed not many drivers are very considerate ...

Submitted by E-Mail

Years ago when I was in my early 40s and on my way to a friend’s home out Port Coquitlam way. The night was dark and wet with driving rain. The pavement seemed to melt away into the shadows. I left a relatively well lit highway to take the off ramp and was brimming with confidence and high speed. All of a sudden I realized that I was totally blind. There were no vehicles ahead of me and (thankfully) none behind. I slammed on the brakes and totally disoriented came to a stop. Luckily an off ramp is just one way. I finally started to have my eyes adjust to the darker conditions. My heart was pounding and I was breathing fast with what I believed was a near miss and yet it was simply my first realization that on wet and dark nights I need to heavily reduce my speed and intensify my driving alertness. I clearly remember pulling back onto the off ramp whispering self-deprecating curses about slowing down and that I was not going blind or crazy.

From that day forward I have recognized my limited abilities to see the road when it is dark and wet. I only hope that those folks hurtling down the highway towards me do not share the same driving epiphany that I experienced.

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