The summer weather is upon us. Wet pavement contributes to nearly 1.2 million traffic crashes each year. Here are TEN tips for driving safely in the rain. Some of the tips might surprise you!
Some tips such as slowing down and staying off your cell phone are (hopefully) understood. Other tips concerning hydroplaning (losing traction and skidding across the surface of the road) and ventilating your vehicle may be foreign. If you are involved in a car accident always calls 911; do not be deterred by the rain as it is crucial to memorialize the crash. It is VERY common for at-fault drivers to “leave the scene” following a crash in a rainstorm.
TEN TIPS FOR DRIVING SAFELY IN THE RAIN.
- LIGHTS. Turning on your vehicle’s headlights will increase your own visibility and other drivers’ ability to see your vehicle on the road.
- TIMING. One of the most dangerous times to drive can be soon after it begins to rain. The rain can cause oils on the roadway to rise to the surface and make conditions slick. If possible, wait a few minutes after it rains to get back on the road.
- CRUISE CONTROL. If you are in a rainstorm, do not use your cruise control. If you hydroplane, cruise control can cause your vehicle to lose control.
- STANDING WATER. Avoid for standing water whenever possible. Oftentimes after heavy rain, one lane will flood due to the pitch of the pavement. Avoid this lane! Driving through standing water can cause your vehicle to hydroplane which is very dangerous.
- IF YOU HYDROPLANE. In the event your car hydroplanes, let OFF the gas. Calmly take your foot off the accelerator and steer in the direction that the front of your car needs to go.
- HAZARD LIGHTS. In a rainstorm, do not use your hazard lights. Using your hazard lights in the rain is illegal as it causes confusion and reduces visibility making it difficult for other drivers to see your turn signal or break lights.
- AVOID LARGER VEHICLES. Notice larger vehicles, such as tractor-trailers. They are more susceptible to high winds and staying in their lane. Due to their heavier weight, these vehicles take more time to come to a complete stop. Stay away and NEVER cut off a tractor-trailer.
- SPACE. Give other vehicles more space. Add an extra 1-2 seconds of following time in the rain, which gives you, and the cars behind you, more time to react.
- TIRES. Check the tread of your vehicle’s tires. Balding tires can severely reduce traction on wet roads.
- HUMIDITY. Rain causes humidity levels to increase. Learn your vehicle’s AC. Your vehicle likely has a feature (i.e. defrost button) that will work to reduce this type of fog that develops on the interior of your windows and windshield.
Injured in a car accident in the rain? Call one of our experienced personal injury attorneys for a free consultation.