To get where you need to go safely, it’s best to plan ahead if it’s raining and adjust your driving habits accordingly. It is vitally important that you understand how your car will react to wet roads if you absolutely have to drive, while taking into consideration that visibility is often significantly reduced. Below are our top 5 tips for staying safe while driving in the rain.
Drive To The Conditions
Driving during heavy rain combined with the water spray from other vehicles after rain can both significantly lower your visibility. So make it easier for you to see other drivers and for them to see you by turning on your headlights and fog lights if they are fitted. Don’t use cruise control and reduce your speed, because cars require between 2- and 3-times stopping distance when the roads are wet. By giving the car in front more room to stop, you’ll reduce the risk of rear-ending them. Ultimately, you should always be alert when driving in wet weather.
Ensure Frequent Car Maintenance
Drivers should always make sure their vehicles are well maintained and prepared for commuting in rainstorms. Your brakes are obviously crucial for protection against accidents, so make sure they are checked regularly. Also, check windshield wipers are working correctly and replace wiper blades regularly, so they’ll work efficiently whenever they’re needed. Check that your defroster works too, especially if it hasn’t been used often.
Avoid Any Flooded Roads
Never drive through a roadway with standing or flowing water unless you are certain you can safely do so, or you can follow another car so you can accurately judge the water’s depth. It’s important to be aware that driving through deep flood water can actually cause the engine to stall, and deeper water will float your car no matter how heavy it is, taking it off the roadway.
Check Your Tires Often
Tires should always have proper inflation and adequate tread to grip the road suitably, and the tires should be rotated often. A good way to check the tread of your tires is the penny test. If you can see the top of Lincoln’s head after putting a penny headfirst into the grooves, then your tire’s treads are definitely too shallow, so it’s time to get some new tires.
As fresh rain mixes with grease and engine oil it makes road surfaces become exceptionally slippery, especially if there hasn’t been any rain for some time. So you should definitely slow down and expect things to be slick. At speeds of around 35mph or higher, it’s extremely easy to hydroplane on wet roads and lose control of your vehicle. If hydroplaning does occur, you should steer straight ahead while immediately easing off the gas and gently applying the brakes.
Remember that safe driving inclement weather requires a combination of utmost patience and caution. Make sure that you give yourself enough time to get wherever you’re headed, but if conditions are unsafe, you should either stay at home or find somewhere safe to pull over until the danger passes. Ultimately, you want to do all you can to survive this drive.