Tips for Driving In Rain
Driving in the rain can be very difficult at times. Making sure you are seen as well as seeing others, becomes very challenging in the rain. We will go over a few things that might make your next rainy day trip safer. The number one thing you can do driving in the rain is to reduce your speed.
These are a few tips for driving the rain
- Turn on your headlights
- Slow down- cars don’t stop in the rain like they do on dry pavement.
- Increase your distance- Increase your distance between you and the car in front of you.
- Try not drive behind tractor trailer or big trucks- these trucks disperse large amounts of water and tend to spray the cars following them making it difficult to see.
- Make sure your wipers and defroster are in proper working order.
- Be more alert
Does your defrost work?
Have you ever seen a car with hazy windows on the inside? This can be caused by a non working defroster or an actual source of water in the car such as water in the trunk, or water soaked carpets or floor mats. I have done what the lady is doing to the left in highschool. My defroster didn’t work, so i had to take a roll of papertowells with me to wipe the window every minute.
Make sure your AC system in your car is functioning properly. The defrost, in most cases, uses the ac to clear your windows. If you have standing water in your truck or carpets, even with a properly working defroster, your windows may never clear up.
The condition of your tires plays a crucial role in how well your tires disperse water. If you have worn out tires, you may hydroplane. Worn tires with little or no grooves left in them have a reduced ability to disperse water underneath them. Make sure not to chance yourself or a loved one riding on slicks in rainy conditions.
Braking – Does your car have anti lock brakes?
Anti lock brakes were designed for aircraft in 1929 and saw wider use in the 1950’s to stop Airplanes quicker in wet weather and dry conditions. The same technology was applied to today’s cars and trucks. If your car does not have anti lock brakes, you should be more cautious when braking in standing water or on wet pavement.
Watch out for oily deposits in the road
These are generally found at intersections when cars idle for extended periods of time. These deposits can create a skid mixture when it rains after long dry spells. These may also be caused from previous accidents. The heavily trafficked areas during long periods on no rain will be extremely slick when that first rain comes. If there has been a dry spell in your area, and you have a downpour, be alert to this oil residue on the road. The roadway will be extra slick.
Hydroplaning is when your tires no longer can disperse the water from under them. Ever wonder what those grooves in your tires do? They disperse water from between your tires and the roadway, when they can no longer do this, you hydroplane. Braking with no anti lock brakes is not recommend in a hydroplane situation, steering the car in the direction that you want to go and take your foot off the accelerator.
If you have anti lock brakes, it is recommended you apply firm braking pressure, reduce speed and steer in the direction of travel. Worn tires and speed can be one of the reasons you hydroplane. In some cases hydroplaning can cause a car to loose control with no chance of recovery.
Did we mention to slow down!!
A lot of rainy weather accidents can be directly related to speed and distance. Increasing your distance and reducing your speed may also increase your visibility in the rain. The most common car accident in rainy weather is following to close or not increasing your distance.
Many commuters are under the impression their car will stop the same as it does on dry pavement, which is just not true. They also tend to follow the same distance under dry and wet circumstances. Get to where you need to go without incident, be careful driving in the rain.
Dos and Don’ts to drive safely in rainy conditions
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, about 1,235,000 automobile accidents occur each year due to bad weather conditions. Rainfall (46%) and wet pavement (70%) are attributed as the major factors.
Rain is an everyday phenomenon, so follow these tips when driving in rainy conditions.
1. Don’t drive if not necessary
If the weather conditions are very bad with flooding and incessant rains, trying putting away your driving chore. Wait till the rain diminishes or subsides. As we know the risks are elevated when the roads are wet and slippery causing skidding and leading to other driving risks. The visibility also reduces during a torrential downpour and it is a smart move to stay indoors and avoid driving in heavy rainfall.
2. Drive a car that is in well-maintained
If the rains do not cease and driving becomes necessary, take some mandatory precautions. Clean the inside and the exterior of the car thoroughly. Your windshield must be clean to allow for visibility. The rains will always impede your sight, so your windows and windshield must be clear. Check your wiper to ensure that it runs smoothly and is clean.
We also recommend checking the headlights, taillights, tire treads and signal lights such that they are working in good condition. These tips should be followed despite rainy conditions so that you are safe on the road.
3. Do not use the cruise control
Rainey weather means the roads are slick. Using cruise control means that your car could go out of control in rainy weather, especially if you Hydroplane. While driving you can ease off the accelerator to slow down your car. However, if you use cruise control, reducing the speed is not possible. While you are driving in such rainey conditions, cruise control should be avoided.
4. Be cautious around vehicles
While driving on wet roads, always take care to maintain ample distance from other cars. Be extra careful to allow cars ample space in front of you. In case of a sudden brake, you will have sufficient time to react. In case you start skidding, avoiding pressing on the brakes, as it becomes even difficult to control your car. Maintain safe distance!
5. Stay away from flooded areas
If you have to drive, take the less flooded routes. Charging into a flooded road may cause your car to break down, go out of control, or wash you away. When the road is flooded with water, chances are that your car will start floating in it. If you feel you are entering dangerous water levels, turn around.
6. Avoid other vehicles, buses and trucks
Apart from maintaining distance from other vehicles, keep a lookout for tractor trailers and buses. The spray from the tires of trucks and buses could significantly limit your visibility.
Your visibility will can be severely impeded by following behind or beside a tractor trailer or a bus. Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel when driving in the rain and espically near tractor trailers and heavy vehicles.
7. Stop for a while
When the rain keeps getting worse, it is best to pull over and wait for the rain to subside. Heavy rains could cause a lot of traffic jams and accidents on the road and there will be bottlenecks at every turn. Look for a safe spot, turn off your car and wait for the situation to get better. As soon as you find an opportunity to find your way out, start your engine and drive away.
8. Stay alert
This is the biggest rule of driving. When driving on the road, you should stay focused on the road ahead, especially during bad weather conditions. Many accidents have been avoided due to the common sense and alertness of good drivers. Drivers must pay attention to their surroundings, especially when weather conditions aren’t ideal.
During heavy rains, be extra cautious with merging lanes and crossroads. Drivers should drive defensively, stay vigilant when crossing blind spots and take precautions when passing other vehicles to prevent collisions.
9. Watch for pedestrians
Yes, believe it or not, people still get out in the rain and walk on the sidewalks. You need to be very careful around pedestrians when its raining. In the downtown areas pedestrians are still going to be out and about. Make sure to mindful, try not splash them. And certainly keep and eye on them.
The Southeastern United States is being hammered by Hurricane Ida right now, and we are having flash floods and a ton of rain. This will probably move north to the northeast later today and tomorrow. Watch for the rivers and creeks that will overflow onto the roadways and use extreme caution. Please be very careful when driving in the rain and get home safe.