Driving in the rain can be one of the scarier and more dangerous events for a driver. Most traffic laws and habits are developed when weather conditions are ideal, dry, and sunny. So, how can you stay safe even when the sun refuses to shine? Take a look.
9 Tips for driving in the rain.
1. Keep an eye on your car before it rains.
Visibility is key on rainy days. So, make sure that your car’s brake lights, turn signals, and headlights are all operational before you’re in limited visibility conditions. Check your windshield wipers every so often. Make sure they wipe the fluid away cleanly and without streaking. Replace them if necessary.
You should also check your tire treads. You need to make sure that your tires still have good tread depth.
2. Turn on your headlights and windshield wipers.
If it’s already raining and even if it’s during the day, turn on your headlights before you leave your parking spot. While headlights also allow other drivers to see you, avoid using your brights while close to other drivers. They can make it really hard for the other drivers to see. Be sure to turn on your windshield wipers and adjust the speed according to how hard it’s raining as well.
3. Slow down.
Water makes everything more slippery, and remember, your tires are made of rubber. Even with great tire treads, cars can hydroplane. So, give your tires more time to displace the water under them by driving more slowly and carefully in the rain, especially when stopping at an intersection, making a turn, or executing another traffic maneuver.
4. Give other cars more space.
In the same manner, slippery roads mean that it can take your car more time to come to a complete stop. In traffic, that means that you’ll need more distance to stop behind a car if you have to brake. So, give yourself some personal space.
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5. Avoid braking hard and turning sharply.
Slamming on your brakes too hard and too quickly could cause your car to skid. Make sure you have enough room to slow down gradually if you’re stopping behind another car or turning.
6. Know how to handle hydroplaning.
If your wheels do lose traction with the road, it’s important to think through your next few actions instead of relying on your driving impulses.
- Don’t slam on the brakes. It may be an instinct but doing so could make you lose control of the car even more.
- Take your foot off the gas. Trying to accelerate through water won’t help you regain traction.
- Hold the wheel steady and steer INTO the direction that your car is skidding. Trying to fight the direction of the skid could make you lose control of the car more.
7. Avoid standing water.
Even if a puddle doesn’t look that deep, try your best to avoid driving over standing water. Remember – cars can hydroplane. If you can’t avoid the puddle, reduce your speed as you drive towards it so that your tires have enough time to gain traction with the road under the standing water.
8. Postpone any trips that aren’t absolutely necessary.
If it’s okay to leave your grocery shopping or visit to a friend’s place for another day, go ahead and postpone the trip. Sometimes driving in the rain is unavoidable. People have work or school, events they have to attend, or it can start raining while you’re already out and about. But if you can help it, it’s best to avoid driving in the rain altogether.
9. Pull over if needed.
If you need to, pull over in a safe place and wait out the weather. If visibility is really bad, it might be best just to wait for it to let up a bit.
Driving in the rain can be a nuisance at best and extremely dangerous at worst. But having the tools to get to and from your destination safely can make rainy seasons a breeze. In any non-ideal driving conditions, it’s important to stay focused and aware of your driving behaviors and the driving of others around you. Even if you don’t have a newer car with tons of modern safety features, habits like checking your car’s equipment and not driving distracted play an even bigger role in keeping you and other drivers safe during a storm.
Having the right car insurance can also play a huge role in protecting you while driving in the rain. If something happens, it’s important to know that you and your car are properly covered. Our insurance experts can help you find the right auto insurance that’s tailored to your needs, rain or shine. We also know exactly how to save you money on the coverage you need. To make sure you’re not missing out on great car insurance coverage for a great rate, call us today, fill out our easy online form, or start your quotes directly with an agent through LiveChat.