Top Tips For Driving On Wet Roads in Cairns and North Queensland

Cairns and the rest of North Queensland typically experience a wet season between November and March each year. While it is important to always be safe on the road, during this time it is crucial that drivers take extra safety precautions while they are behind the wheel.

Here are our top tips for driving on wet roads in North Queensland.

Drive slowly and keep a safe distance

When driving on wet roads, the best way to keep a safe distance from the car in front is by travelling about 4 seconds behind it (for regular cars), and about 8 seconds if you are driving a heavy vehicle. If your vehicle has a trailer or caravan hitched to it, you should allow an additional 4 seconds of distance per 3 metres of length of your caravan or trailer.

Travelling at a low speed of 30 – 40 km/h in wet weather will also help to keep you safe and if the weather is particularly bad and it is safe to do so, you should pull over completely and wait until it passes before you start driving again.

Be careful of hidden dangers

Flooding can cause water to rise as quickly as a few minutes or over the course of a few days, depending on its severity. In addition to creating conditions which are difficult to drive through, floods can also cause damage and deterioration to roads, bring hidden hazards from surrounding areas or conceal holes or dips which could cause damage to your vehicle if not approached carefully.

Avoid driving across roads that look flooded and keep in mind that a road that looks slippery could be even more dangerous than it appears if it causes you to aquaplane; something which can occur in heavy rains due to water build up stopping the road and tyre from making contact.

Leave more time for travelling

In dangerous conditions you should take more care than usual, and you should therefore leave earlier so that you can approach potential hazards with care and caution. Extra travel time will also give you a buffer if you are caught in areas where damage has occurred to the roads and you need to take a detour.

Ensure your lights on

It is just as critical for your own safety as it is for the safety of others that you make yourself visible while you are on the road. During heavy rain and storms, it can be dark outside even during the daytime, so ensuring that you keep your headlights on during low visibility will warn others that you are there as much as they will help you to see the road ahead of you.

Ensure your vehicle is well-maintained

Regular vehicle maintenance is another way to ensure you are as safe on the roads as you can be during the wet season. By undertaking a full service at regular intervals throughout the year, you can pick up on any problems before they become serious issues, and you should take note of unusual sounds your vehicle is making or other occasions where driving doesn’t feel as smooth as usual. Make sure your windshield wipers, brakes, tyres and headlights are in good working order at all times.

By following these tips, you can decrease the risk of a road accident in Cairns during the wet season and help to keep yourself and others using the roads safe.

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