Rain, Rain, go away—especially when you’re driving. Each year, rain is blamed for thousands of accidents, many of which could have been avoided. While most drivers know to slow down in the rain, some throw caution to the wind, endangering themselves as well as those on the roadway.
To help keep you and those you share the roadway with safe, here are 5 helpful tips for driving in the rain:
- Proceed with caution after a drought period— If it hasn’t rained in a while, engine oil and grease start to build up overtime. When rain mixes with the two, the road becomes extremely slick, making the roadway dangerous for drivers.
- Stay near the middle lanes— When it rains, water tends to collect on the side of the road, creating puddles or large pools of water. It’s important to avoid deep standing water as they can cause a loss of steering or braking control—also known as hydroplaning or aquaplaning.
- Don’t slam on the brakes— If your vehicle starts to hydroplane, the last thing you want to do is slam on your brakes. This can make your car spin even more. To gain control, grip your steering wheel firmly and release the gas pedal. If you must use your brakes, lightly tap the brake pedal.
- Always turn on your headlights…even if it’s sprinkling— Not only will this help you see the road, it allows other motorists to see you. But be mindful not to turn on your high beams. The light will reflect back at you off the raindrops in the air, making it more difficult to see.
- Refrain from using cruise control— Using cruise control can slow your reaction time to brake and accelerate. Braking on wet roads demands your full attention.