How to Handle Slippery Roads in Emergency Situations: A Guide for Drivers

Navigating slippery roads can be a daunting challenge, especially during the rainy season. The mix of tar, rubber, and oil on dry roads turns dangerously slick when wet, creating treacherous driving conditions. Staying calm and focused is important, as panicking can lead to poor decisions and increase the risk of accidents.

To maintain control of your motor vehicle, avoid sudden braking and reduce your speed by gently lifting off the accelerator. Once you’ve passed the slippery section, gently press the brakes to dry off the brake pads and ensure proper functioning. By following these steps, as well as the ones we’ve listed on this guide, you can better manage your vehicle and stay safe on the road.

how to handle slippery road driving

What are Slippery Roads

Slippery roads are surfaces that provide reduced traction for vehicle tires, often caused by rain, oil, or other substances. These conditions can make it difficult for drivers to maintain control of their vehicles, leading to potential accidents. Slippery roads are particularly common during the rainy season when water mixes with residues like tar, rubber, and oil on the road surface.

When roads are slippery, vehicles are more prone to skidding and losing control, especially during sudden maneuvers or braking. Drivers need to be wary of slippery roads to prevent accidents and ensure their safety. Being cautious and adapting driving techniques to these conditions can significantly reduce the risks associated with slippery roads.

How to Handle Emergency Situations Due to Slippery Roads

Handling emergency situations due to slippery roads requires a composed and cautious approach. It involves staying aware, reducing speed by easing off the accelerator, and gently using the brakes. If you are a driver and you are driving along a slippery road, you should avoid sudden movements, maintain a safe following distance, and use your vehicle’s safety features to navigate safely.

For more details on how to handle emergency situations while driving along slippery roads, here’s the guide that you can follow:

Step 1: Stay Aware, Calm, and Ready

Keep your focus on the road, maintain a calm demeanor, and ensure you’re mentally prepared for unexpected situations.

Step 2: Stay Alert for Signs of Slipperiness

Watch out for signs of slippery roads, such as water patches, shiny surfaces, or reduced tire traction.

Step 3: Ease Off the Accelerator Pedal

If you sense your vehicle starting to slip, gently lift your foot off the accelerator to reduce speed gradually.

Step 4: Avoid Abrupt Braking

Resist the urge to slam on the brakes, as this can lead to uncontrollable skidding. Instead, apply gentle pressure on the brake pedal.

Step 5: Steer Smoothly

Maintain a steady grip on the steering wheel and  make smooth, controlled steering movements to keep your vehicle on course.

Step 6: Reduce Speed Appropriately

Adjust your speed to match the road conditions, ensuring you’re driving at a safe and manageable pace.

Step 7: Maintain Safe Following Distance

Increase the distance between your vehicle and the one ahead to allow for ample braking distance in case of sudden stops.

Step 8: Brake Lightly After Passing

After navigating the slippery section, lightly tap on the brakes a few times to help dry off the brake pads and ensure optimal braking performance..

By following these procedures, you can navigate any emergency situations arising from the risks of wet and slippery roads.

Safety Tips for Drivers

The Land Transportation Office (LTO) also emphasizes the importance of driver education and road safety. Here are some additional tips provided by the agency for drivers to keep in mind:

  • Regular Vehicle Maintenance

Ensure your tires are in good condition and properly inflated. Regularly check your brakes to ensure they are responsive.

  • Stay Updated on Weather Conditions

Before driving, check the weather forecast. Avoid driving during heavy rains if possible to minimize the risk of encountering slippery roads.

  • Use Headlights for Visibility

During rainy conditions, always use your headlights to improve visibility for yourself and other drivers on the road.

  • Maintain Safe Following Distance

Increase the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you to allow for ample braking distance.

  • Know Your Vehicle’s Safety Features

Familiarize yourself with your car’s safety features, including:

  1. Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
  2. Traction Control System (TCS)
  3. Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
  4. All-Wheel Drive (AWD) or Four-Wheel Drive (4WD)
  5. Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
  6. Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)
  7. Quality All-Season Tires
  8. Rain-Sensing Wipers
  9. Automatic Headlights
  10. Backup Camera and Sensors 
  • Drive at a Suitable Speed

Adjust your speed to match the road conditions, driving at a safe and manageable pace.

  • Avoid Sudden Maneuvers

Refrain from making sudden turns or lane changes, as these actions can lead to loss of control on slippery roads.

  • Keep Both Hands on the Wheel

Maintain a firm grip on the steering wheel with both hands to ensure better control of your vehicle.

  • Stay Calm and Focused

In challenging driving conditions, remain calm and focused, avoiding distractions to better handle unexpected situations.

  • Plan Your Route

If possible, plan your route in advance to avoid areas prone to flooding or known for slippery road conditions, especially during the rainy season.

By following these tips, you can significantly reduce the risks associated with driving on slippery roads. Remember, safety comes first, and being prepared is your best defense against the challenges posed by wet and slick road conditions.

Video: How to Ride in the Rain? Wet Weather Motorcycling

For more information and driving tips to help you ride your motorcycle in wet roads and deal with slippery roads at the same time, you may check out this video from Manibela Academy:


Driving on slippery roads, especially during the rainy season in the Philippines, requires careful preparation and calm execution. By staying aware, reducing speed gradually, and avoiding sudden braking, you can maintain better control of your vehicle.

Regular vehicle maintenance and familiarizing yourself with your car’s safety features are also a must for handling these conditions. Remember to always prioritize safety by staying informed about weather conditions and practicing these safety tips to navigate and deal with slippery roads effectively.

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