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Liz, a driver should maintain at least a cars length for every 10 mph speed as reaction and braking time visible safety buffer zone from other vehicles . The space must be visible so any new collision hazards can be seen and avoided by braking in time. On wet roads this buffer allowance should be increased by 50% minimum. There is no way stability can be increased at higher speeds, what you were perceiving may well have been reduced road contact vibration and noise, similar to driving on ice because your car was actually in transition to acquaplaning. Wth 4m visibiliy your safe speed would have been well under 10mph. Driving at 80 indicates your father is apparently a dangerous lunatic.