10 Tips For Driving In The Rain
There are over one million automobile accidents every year due to wet pavement and unsafe driving practices. In the winter & spring, it is important to remember that even a small rain shower can make driving more difficult. Stay safe with our top ten tips for driving in rainy conditions.
1. Slow Down
This might seem like a given but slowing down during wet weather is important in reducing your vehicle’s chance of hydroplaning. Tires lose about one-third of their traction during wet weather. You will want to reduce your speed by about one-third when it is raining and especially when the roads are slick after a first rain.
2. Leave Room
Leave plenty of room between your vehicle and the car in front of you to help prevent an automobile accident. Normal rule of thumb is measured in car lengths but in wet weather you should stay at least 3-5 seconds behind the car in front of you.
3. Adjust Your Driving Habits
When you drive during normal weather conditions it’s easy to fall into habits including not being aware of your surroundings. During rainy weather it’s important to kick those bad driving habits and be alert and focused on all road conditions and nearby vehicles.
4. Turn Off Cruise Control
Hydroplaning while in cruise control can actually cause you to go faster. It is better to have time to adjust your speed according to the conditions of the road.
5. Turn Your Lights On
In many states it is the law to keep your headlights on whenever your windshield wipers are in use. This ensures that other drivers can see your vehicle in rainy weather. Avoid using your brights as the brighter light will reflect off wet surfaces.
6. Hold Off On Unnecessary Trips
Unless you are comfortable driving in rainy conditions, it’s okay to stay home and wait out a bad storm. If you have no pressing reason to go out in the rain sometimes it’s better to just stay put than risk an automobile accident.
7. Steer Where You Want To Go
If you’re going too fast and wind up hydroplaning, turn the wheel in the direction you want to go. You might not steer out of it on the first try. Sometimes it takes a few adjustments to get back on course.
8. Know The Roads
If you are new to an area, use caution when driving unfamiliar roads. Plan your trip ahead of time and avoid places that are prone to flooding.
9. Don’t Go Into Deep Water Areas
A good rule of thumb to follow is if you can’t see the markings on the road because of water it’s too deep to drive on. It is possible to lose control of a vehicle in as little as three inches of water.
10. Keep Your Vehicle In Good Condition
Keeping your vehicle in good shape before the rainy weather hits is important. Summer months can damage your windshield wipers, leaving them warped and brittle. Changing your windshield wipers every season is a good habit to form. Check your headlights, tail lights, turn signals and tire treads before driving your vehicle for the first time every day. You will want to make sure all of your lights are in good working condition since you will need to keep your headlights on if your windshield wipers are in use.
The key to staying safe and help prevent an automobile accident in wet weather is awareness. Make sure you slow down, pay attention to the road and know what to do if you start to hydroplane.