Driving in sunny weather can be a pleasant experience, but when the sky gets dark and the rain starts to fall, things can get more challenging. When it comes to driving, rain creates a hazard that many drivers are unprepared for. In fact, over 1 million traffic accidents happen every year as a result of wet roadways. Driving safely in the rain requires diligence, but the following safe driving tips will make you more prepared for driving on wet roads.
Many people believe that they can maintain the same speed in the rain as they would on a sunny day. The reality is that when the roads are wet, you are much more likely to lose control of your vehicle. Hydroplaning is a dangerous situation that can occur when your tires are raised up above the pavement and ride on top of a layer of water, and slowing down is the only sure-fire way to prevent it. It can happen in as little as 1/12 of an inch of, so don’t assume that it won’t happen in a light rain.
If you ever do hydroplane, being able to recover safely is an essential rainy weather skill. Here’s how to do it:
- Get your foot off the gas. Don’t ever use your brakes, as tempting as this may be, as it could cause you to skid and completely lose control.
- Turn your wheel in the direction the car is moving. This might feel counter-intuitive, but it makes it much easier to regain control.
- Hold it until your wheels are back on solid ground. You’ll be able to tell immediately.
- Now that you’ve recovered, if you’re feeling a little rattled by this experience, pull over and relax for a minute.
One of the most important driving tips I can offer is to leave more space between your car and the one in front of you in wet conditions. The distance it takes to stop doubles in the rain so it is important to adjust. Keep your distance and drive safe.
Turn on Your Lights
In the rain, lights help you to see and be seen. Visibility is significantly lower, so your headlights are essential for other drivers to see you coming. Unlike some rainy weather safety tips, this one is required by law in most states. When visibility is low, as it usually is when it rains, all states require your headlights to be on, and many require them to be on whenever the wipers are on. Regardless of the rules in your state, make it a habit – when you turn on your wipers, turn on the lights.
Replace Your Wiper Blades
This one’s simple enough, but it’s also easy to procrastinate. It’s a good idea to replace them annually, before the rain starts, but if your wipers don’t wipe the windshield clean in one swipe, it’s time to replace them regardless. Most oil change places can replace them for you, to keep things simple, or you can save a few bucks by doing it yourself. Either way, don’t neglect this important tip.
Forget About Cruise Control
Cruise control is convenient in good weather, especially on long open stretches of highway. In the rain, though, you’ll often need to let off the accelerator quickly to keep from hydroplaning or skidding. Not only that, but if your car does hydroplane, cruise control might actually cause your vehicle to accelerate – exactly opposite to what you want.
In the rain, cars can become difficult to control – this you know. If you follow these wet weather driving safety tips, you’ll help to keep your car in control, and to keep the roads safer. While accidents can still happen, you are much less likely to cause them.
Now that you have the tips you need to drive safely in the rain, why not request a quote to find out how much money you can save on car insurance. Get a free car insurance quote online or by calling 800-777-5620.