70% of weather-related crashes happen because of wet roads. You don’t have to be a statistic. As your drive in the rain, there are safety precautions within your control that you can take. To decrease your chances of getting into an accident during rain, drivers should heed the following advice.
Be Mindful of The Weather Everyday
Of the safe weather driving tips, this is a basic one, but it’s essential. You don’t want to get caught off guard in a downpour. When you’re expecting rain, you might amend your route, leave earlier than usual, or take public transportation to keep yourself safe.
Avoid Driving in Rain Altogether
If possible, avoid driving in rainy weather. Can you take public transportation to get to your destination? If yes, you should do so. If you can reschedule your plans, go for it. For example, if you’re running an errand, wait another day or at least until the rain stops.
Keep Your Vehicle Well Maintained
Your car must be in tip-top shape at all times just in case you run into wet weather. That way, your car is dependable when it’s raining. Don’t ever skip out or hold off on car maintenance visits. Check your vehicle periodically to ensure fluids are optimal and equipment isn’t worn.
Your tires are essential to driving in the rain safely. They have grooves that displace water, so your tires maintain traction with the road. When tires lose traction with the road, your vehicle is at risk of hydroplaning. When a vehicle hydroplanes, the tires skid on top of the water, making the car uncontrollable.
The inflation of your tires is crucial too because it helps with traction and wear. You want them to last as long as possible and pump water efficiently. Speaking of wear, rotate your tires about every 6,000 miles.
Visibility is vital during a downpour. Your car’s windshield wipers make visibility possible if they are working correctly. Be sure to change your windshield wipers every 6-12 months.
Turn on Your Headlights
As you know, rain obstructs your visibility, so help other drivers see you on the road by turning on your headlights. It is the law to turn on headlights even if it is misting in some states. Remember not to turn on your brights.
Pay Attention to The Road
When the weather is bad, you have to be extra aware of what is happening around you. Follow these essential distracted driving tips.
- Avoid using your phone
- Avoid eating
- Avoid multitasking
Oil leaks from cars and when it rains, the road becomes extra slick. Because the road is wet and there’s oil on the ground, drive slow. Driving too fast makes the perfect conditions for hydroplaning.
The speed limit is recommended under normal, dry conditions. When it rains, you should drive under the speed limit. Depending on how heavy the rain is, drive as much as 10 under the speed limit. Drivers can always go around you.
Do not drive with cruise control in the rain. This is dangerous because you need to have control of your vehicle. If your car hydroplanes, you need the ability to slow the car down by removing your foot from the gas or gently applying the brakes.
Give The Driver Infront of You Space
Have at least five seconds of reaction time between you and the car in front of you. You need extra stopping room in the rain because the road is wet. You don’t want to hit the driver in front of you and have to file a claim.
If you see a puddle go around it if you can. If you can’t see the street markings, it may be too deep for driving. Water could get into the engine if the water is too high or a car passes you.
Know How to Drive in a Skid
A skid could happen in an instant, and drivers should know what to do.
Do the following to regain control of your car in a skid:
- Stay calm and don’t panic
- Never brake aggressively, or jerk the steering wheel
- Ride it out
- Keep both hands on the steering wheel
- Steer in the direction of the skid if your rear wheels veer to one side (this keep your vehicle straight)
- Gently decelerate by taking your foot off the gas, brake, or clutch
- If you have an anti-lock braking system (ABS), gently brake normally
- If you do not have ABS, gently pump your brake pedal
- When you feel your tires regain traction, gently decelerate
- Continue driving or pull over to a safe location to regain your composure
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