10 Off-road driving tips that will help in wet weather conditions

'Take it slow and steady if necessary'
by Beeboy Bargas | Jul 6, 2018


Driving can be quite hazardous on its own. But throw in some wet weather and it can become, well, lethal. Visibility is impaired and tire grip is minimized due to wet road surfaces. Even the smallest amount of water can make a tire slip, and the only thing preventing an accident is how you handle your vehicle.

Fortunately most modern vehicles come with electronic driver aids to minimize risks. These new high-tech features can, for example, make a vehicle brake on its own, send power to a tire that slips, and do other electronic tricks. But not all rides are made equal, and there's no substitute (yet) for human skill. 

Below are some tips to help you guys cope with hazardous on-road conditions, especially when weather comes into play:

1) Tread lightly

For vehicles without the latest braking advancements, always drive with finesse by lightly stepping on the brakes. Sudden brake application can make a tire lose grip and cause the vehicle to slide with no control at all.

2) Be gentle with the throttle

Gently apply throttle inputs on the accelerator to prevent excessive wheel spin. Sudden acceleration can make you lose traction and induce a slide, even on front-wheel-drive vehicles.

3) Timing is everything

When decelerating from high speeds on wet roads in a manual transmission car, never disengage the clutch pedal until the last moment. Sudden application of the clutch pedal can make you lose control of the vehicle causing you to slide.

4) Maintain control

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In the event your vehicle fishtails to the left or right, gently steer to the direction of the slide and not against it. It seems counterintuitive but it will counteract the slide of the vehicle.

5) Always look ahead

Like in off-road driving, look further ahead to see obstacles in advance. In the rain, visibility is lessened and brakes may not work as well compared to wet driving conditions, so having a little extra time to act is vital in the event that things go awry.

6) Avoid deep puddles

Even with vehicle stability control in a modern, electronically aided vehicle, never hit a water puddle at high speed. Your tires and traction are the only things standing between you and an accident.

7) Take it slow and steady if necessary

In wet driving conditions, always follow this creed used by off-road drivers: "As slow as possible, as fast as necessary." Stay on the rightmost lane and don't turn on your hazard lights while driving. 

8) Maintain a proper driving position

Always maintain the correct driving position for better visibility. You're not in a Fast & Furious film. Wrists must be able to sit comfortably on top of the wheel, and adjust your seat to the proper leaning position. Always hold the wheel at the 9 o'clock and 3 o'clock position.

9) Keep your arms and hands in check

Never let your arms and hands cross over when steering. Once you have pulled or pushed the steering wheel in your desired direction, catch it under the hand that you pushed or pulled it with then follow through.

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10) If it looks too deep, it probably is

On modern vehicles, never drive through deep water levels that can reach your floorboard. Your ride's electricals may be compromised, as water and electronics don't mix.

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