Top 9 Tips for Driving in Vancouver

Vancouver is a beautiful city found on Canada’s west coast in southern British Columbia. Newcomers to Vancouver will often make note of the excitement and culture the city has to offer, in addition to its wonderful coastal and mountainous vistas. Depending on the time of year they arrive, visitors may also make note of the significant amount of precipitation that falls on the city. The spring and fall months in particular feature the most rainfall. For those who may not be used to driving in those wet conditions, we have a few tips and reminders below that will enhance your driving safety while helping you avoid costly and potentially dangerous collisions. 


Tip #1. Slow Down

The first tip here might seem a little obvious, but it is always a good reminder for those who may not be accustomed to driving in wet conditions. Slick, wet roads and decreased visibility will make it harder to react quickly while driving. To make sure you give yourself enough time to stop quickly or steer to avoid sudden obstacles, try slowing your speed and acceleration. By doing so you will reduce the chance of hydroplaning in your car as well.


Tip #2. Avoiding Hydroplaning in Raincouver

Expanding on the previous tip, it is important to avoid hydroplaning whenever possible. Especially in Vancouver. Accelerating too quickly and spinning your tires on the wet road can be a recipe for disaster. Spinning tires that suddenly grip the road and cause you to move forward at a dangerous speed can cause an accident. Either an unsuspecting pedestrian or fellow driver may find themselves in your path after a sharp turn or acceleration, so be sure to accelerate and brake more slowly in wet conditions.


Tip #3. Increase Stopping Distance

In Vancouver wet conditions, the amount of distance your car requires to fully stop can be increased by two times. With twice the amount of distance potentially required to stop, it is definitely a good idea to be mindful of your speed and braking. To stay on the safe side, try braking sooner in wet conditions to avoid skids and potential collisions.


Tip #4. Clean Windows

Maximum visibility is always necessary to ensure safe driving conditions in any weather. Unfortunately, sudden heavy rainfall in Vancouver can cause visibility to drastically reduce in a short period of time, which is why clean windows are important to maintain. Make sure to keep your windows clear of dirt, dust and even smoke residue on both the inside and exterior of your car. You should also regularly refill your washer fluid tank with a hydrophobic washer fluid. This type of washer fluid causes water to bead and roll off your windows, which will help you maintain high levels of visibility. You should also replace your windshield wipers on an annual basis.


Tip #5. Skid Response

Unfortunately even the safest drivers find themselves in unsafe situations on the road. The key to avoiding collisions is to know how to react. If you find yourself sliding or skidding on a wet road, the first thing you need to remember is to remain calm and not to slam on the brakes. Instead, slowly take your foot off the gas and keep steering the car so its front is pointing in the direction you want to go. If your car has ABS brakes, it is all right to apply them firmly to slow down the skid. For cars with no ABS, try not to use your brakes until you have steered your way out of the skid.


Tip #6. Avoid Washed Out Roads and Big Puddles

Splashing around in wet conditions may look cool and fun on TV, but in real life you may get a different impression. A flooded road is something you should always avoid driving on if you can. Water that is high enough can get into your exhaust pipe, which will eventually reach your engine and cause your car to break down. Driving through large puddles is also a bad idea, because it is difficult to tell how deep the puddle is. You may end up causing major damage to the body of your car, not to mention your tires, alignment and even your axle.


Tip #7. Cruise Control

Highway driving is a lot easier these days thanks to cruise control. There are times however where cruise control can be more dangerous than helpful. In wet conditions, cruise control makes it far more likely that you will lose control of your vehicle in situations where rapid deceleration is required. As mentioned above, it is wise to give yourself extra time to slow down in rainy conditions. Since cruise control keeps your speed constant until you press the brakes, slowing down by taking your foot off the gas before applying the brakes is impossible, meaning there is more potential for danger cause by sudden braking on wet roads.


Tip #8. Vehicle Familiarity

When a sudden rainfall hits, it is important to be aware of the location of certain controls in your car. If you are driving a vehicle that you aren’t completely familiar with, take some time to acquaint yourself with the controls. Windshield wipers, defrosters, heat and A/C fans as well as fog lights and high beam controls for headlights are controls you should be familiar with before you drive in rainy Vancouver conditions.


Tip #9. Travel Time

A great way to reduce the stress of driving in poor, wet conditions while making it easy to follow the rest of these tips is to allow more travel time for yourself. Rainfall can cause all sorts of problems on the road that you can’t control, so giving yourself extra time to get to your destination is a practical way to deal with unexpected detours or delays.

Make sure that your vehicle is safe to drive. If your vehicle needs repair or windshield replacement, please contact Spotlight Collision, Auto Body Shop in Vancouver.

We wish you a safe driving.