RAA urges caution as wet weather returns

28 March, 2023

RAA is urging drivers to leave a safer stopping distance when driving in wet weather, as data reveals more than 2500 drivers were caught tailgating last year.

In 2022, 2750 motorists were caught failing to keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front, resulting in $688,319 in fines, latest SA Police figures show.

The current penalty including VOC is $466 plus one demerit point.

RAA Senior Manager Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain said, “Wet roads bring with them extra challenges for drivers, challenges that we should all mentally prepare for after months of driving in mainly dry conditions.”

“If the road is wet, we should all be extra careful to leave at least three seconds between us and the car in front.

“Inclement weather can also mean reduced visibility, making it harder to see pedestrians or cyclists, which is another reason to drive at a safe speed that allows us to come to a stop if required.

“It’s also a good idea to check the condition of your tyres, because worn tyres don’t disperse water as effectively which increases the risk of aquaplaning, where your tyres lose contact with the road and the vehicle doesn’t respond to steering.”

Wet weather driving. Image: Getty

Mr Mountain said a recent RAA study revealed that an average stopping distance when travelling at 110km/hr in wet weather was 150 metres, compared with just 104 metres in dry conditions.

The study also showed that for a car travelling at 80km/hr, the stopping distance increased from 64 metres to 88 metres in the wet. Those figures also include the time it takes a driver to react to a hazard before hitting the brakes.

“It can take a vehicle a 30 per cent longer distance to stop when the road is wet and even longer if your tyres are worn.”

Stopping distances*: Dry vs wet

Speed (km/h)Dry stopping distance (m)Wet stopping distance (m)Increase (%)