It is estimated that close to 25 percent of all accidents in North America are weather related, with most of them occurring in the rain or in wet pavement. Wet driving conditions can be dangerous for a variety of reasons. For starters, rainy conditions reduce driver visibility; and for seconds, wet roads build up a film of grease and water that makes it harder for tires to gain traction and increases hydroplaning.
While it is not always possible to avoid driving when it’s raining, you can take the necessary steps to be more vigilant and exercise the best road safety measures. The following are a few expert tips for safe driving in the rain:
1. Keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times
This will help to avoid distractions, such as texting or tuning the radio when driving, and keep you focused on the road and mirrors.
2. Maintain a five-car length from the vehicle in front of you
It is important to keep a safe distance between you and other road users, to ensure that anything that happens does not affect you or other road users.
3. Turn on your headlights
This will make you more visible on the road, and also help you see the road easier. However, don’t use high beams because they can reflect on the water and blind other road users.
4. Maintain a slow, comfortable speed
Due to reduced visibility and road traction, it is hard to drive fast and stay safe. So leave earlier than usual to have more time.
5. Turn off cruise control
When this function is on, your car could speed up if you hydroplane. Additionally, you will not be as focused on the road as you should be. Turning it off will help you stay alert for faster reaction and response if need be.
6. Turn on your defroster
If your windshield is fogging up quickly, turning on the defroster and A/C can help you maintain clear visibility.
7. Brake earlier and slower
When you need to stop or slow down, give yourself a longer stopping distance to reduce the risk of hydroplaning when you brake forcefully.
8. Don’t brake if you hydroplane – Hydroplaning in the rain can make you anxious, but don’t brake suddenly or turn the steering wheel, as this could cause the car to skid. Instead, ease off the accelerator slowly as the tires regain traction, and then brake slowly if you want to stop.
9. Avoid large pools of water – If you spot a big puddle in the road up a head, either drive around it or use a different route. A seemingly shallow puddle may be very deep, damaging your car’s electrical system.
10. Perform regular and timely auto maintenance
Replace old, worn out windshield wipers, ensure that your tires have adequate treads, and keep the brakes in perfect condition.
In the unfortunate event of a collision, bring your car to City Collision for professional body work.
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