Driving in rain

Driving in rain can be risky. You are more likely to be tired and cold. The road is slippery, traction may be poor, visibility is reduced and your brakes may be less effective. The best thing to do is to sit it out. However, if you cannot avoid driving in the rain, here are some tips:

  • Make yourself visible. Wear bright colours and reflective or fluorescent material.
  • Have good equipment. Make sure you have good tire tread, a quality helmet and face shield, as well as warm clothing. A one-piece rain suit will help keep you warm and dry.
  • Reduce speed. It takes a lot longer to stop on slippery surfaces. You must make up for this by driving at slower speeds. It is particularly important to reduce your speed on curves. Remember that speeds posted on curves apply to good surface conditions.
  • Avoid sudden moves. Any sudden change in speed or direction can cause a skid on slippery surfaces. Turn, brake, accelerate and change gears as smoothly as possible.
  • Use both brakes. Both brakes together are more effective than the back brake alone, even on a slippery surface.
  • Avoid the most slippery areas. Oil from other vehicles tends to build up in the centre of the lane, particularly near intersections where vehicles slow down or stop. Avoid standing water, mud and other dangerous surfaces, such as wet metal or leaves.
  • Watch out for shiny areas and puddles. Old worn pavement is often polished smooth and is very slippery when wet. You can spot these extra slippery sections if you look for shiny areas on the road surface. Puddles can hide potholes and traction is worse in deep water.
  • Avoid driving in puddles. A puddle can hide a large pothole that could damage your vehicle or its suspension, or flatten a tire. The spray of water could obstruct the vision of adjacent motorists and result in a collision, cause harm to nearby pedestrians or drown your engine, causing it to stall. Water can also make your brakes less effective.
  • Stay away from the edge of the road when you make sharp turns at intersections or enter or exit freeways. Dirt and gravel tend to collect along the sides of the pavement and can cause you to slide.

Illustration of someone riding in the rain.

Driving in fog

Fog is a thin layer of cloud resting on the ground. Fog reduces visibility for drivers, resulting in difficult driving conditions. The best thing to do is to avoid driving in fog. Check weather forecasts and, if there is a fog warning, delay your trip until it clears. It could save your life. If that is not possible or you get caught driving in fog, there are a number of safe driving tips you should follow.

Tips for driving safely in fog

Before you drive — and during your trip — check weather forecasts. If there is a fog warning, delay your trip until it clears. It could save your life. The best thing to do is to avoid driving in fog. If you are caught driving in fog, follow these safe driving tips:


  • Pay full attention to your driving.
  • Slow down gradually and drive at a speed that suits the conditions.
  • Use your low-beam lights. The high beam reflects off the moisture droplets in the fog, making it harder to see.
  • If you have fog lights on your vehicle, use them, in addition to your low beams.
  • Be patient. Avoid passing, changing lanes and crossing traffic.
  • Use pavement markings to help guide you. Use the right edge of the road as a guide, rather than the centre line.
  • Increase your following distance. You will need extra distance to brake safely.
  • Look and listen for any hazards that may be ahead.
  • Watch for any electronically operated warning signs.
  • Keep looking as far ahead as possible.
  • Keep your windows and mirrors clean. Use your defroster and wipers to maximize your vision.
  • If the fog is too dense to continue, pull completely off the road and try to position your vehicle in a safe parking area. Turn on your emergency flashers, in addition to keeping on your low-beam headlights.


  • Don’t stop on the travelled portion of the road. You could be hit from behind.
  • Don’t speed up suddenly, even if the fog seems to be clearing. You could find yourself suddenly back in fog.
  • Don’t speed up to pass a vehicle moving slowly or to get away from a vehicle that is following too closely.


  • Watch your speed. You may be going faster than you think. If so, reduce speed gradually.
  • Leave a safe braking distance between you and the vehicle ahead.
  • When visibility is reduced, use your low-beam lights.
  • Remain calm and patient. Don’t pass other vehicles or speed up suddenly.
  • Don’t stop on the road. If visibility is decreasing rapidly, pull off the road into a safe parking area and wait for the fog to lift.

Driving in cold weather

In winter or cold weather, other drivers do not expect to see motorcycles or mopeds out on the roads, even when road conditions are good. You must be even more careful and drive more defensively.

You need to anticipate sudden changes in the road surface, especially if the temperature is close to or below freezing. A road may be dry in one area, but wet and slippery in another. Watch for icy or snow-covered patches, which may appear on bridges, shady spots on the road, windswept areas and side roads that have not been completely cleared.

Be alert. Generally, asphalt is a grey-white colour in the winter. Be suspicious of black and shiny asphalt. The road may be covered with a thin layer of ice known as black ice.

It is best to avoid driving your motorcycle or moped when you know there is likely to be snow or ice. If you cannot avoid driving on a very slippery surface, slow down as much as possible before you get to it. If your motorcycle has a clutch and gears, pull in the clutch, coast across and stay off the brakes. If necessary, use your foot to hold your motorcycle or moped up. On a long section of snow-covered road, try to drive on loose or fresh snow. Hard-packed snow has less traction than loose snow.

The other danger of driving in winter is the cold. Cold affects your performance and that of your motorcycle or moped. Here are some things to watch for:

  • Cold weather lowers tire pressure. Check it regularly.
  • Face-shield fogging will be worse in cold weather.

Probably your greatest danger is from fatigue brought on by the cold. Dress in multiple layers. Keep dry. Do not expose bare skin, and be alert to your own slowed reactions.