The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that roughly 7 in 10 car accidents caused by inclement weather result from reduced traction due to precipitation. Driving in the rain can be challenging and potentially hazardous. Controlling your vehicle may be more challenging due to decreased visibility, slick roads, and unpredictably bad weather.
Driving in the rain calls for certain measures to ensure your safety and the safety of other drivers on the road. Whether you’re a seasoned driver or just getting started on the open road, knowing how to drive in wet conditions is crucial. Baker Legal Team is here to provide you with tips to keep you and other drivers safe while driving in the rain.
10 Tips to Keep You Safe While Driving in the Rain
There are many ways to keep drivers safe on the road while it’s wet outside, including:
1. Reduce Your Speed
One of the most crucial safety measures in rainy weather is to reduce your speed. Wet roads are often slick, and stopping your vehicle on a slippery surface takes longer. Slowing down allows for better control and reaction time in case of unexpected situations.
2. Keep Your Distance From Other Cars
Maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you. Increasing the gap gives you extra time to react to sudden stops or hydroplaning.
3. Use Your Headlights
Turn on your headlights when it’s raining, even during daylight hours. This improves your visibility to other drivers.
4. Use Your Windshield Wipers
It may seem like common sense, but some drivers overlook windshield wipers when faced with light rain. Ensure your windshield wipers are in good condition and replace them if they leave streaks or do not effectively clear the windshield. Proper wiper function is essential for maintaining clear visibility.
5. Defog Your Windows
Use your vehicle’s defroster or air conditioning to prevent the windows from fogging up. Fogged windows can significantly impair your visibility on the road. You can also ensure proper ventilation by slightly cracking open a window to help reduce condensation.
6. Avoid Using Cruise Control
Modern cars frequently come equipped with cruise control, which enables the driver to set a preset speed that the car will maintain on its own. However, avoid using this feature in rainy conditions to ensure your focus remains on effectively coordinating the accelerator and brake pedals. Cruise control can make responding quickly to changing road conditions challenging, especially when you encounter standing water or hydroplaning.
7. Turn Off Hazard Lights
Use hazard lights only when your vehicle is stationary or moving slowly due to a specific hazard. Using hazard lights while driving can confuse other drivers and create unnecessary hazards.
8. Beware of Hydroplaning
Hydroplaning occurs when your tires lose contact with the road due to water buildup. If this happens, do not panic. Ease off the accelerator gently, avoid sudden braking or steering movements, and steer in the direction you are going until you regain control.
9. Avoid Puddles and Standing Water
Avoid driving through standing water or puddles, as they can hide potholes and other obstacles. If you must drive through water, do so slowly and cautiously to prevent hydroplaning or damage to your vehicle. Water tends to pool in the outer lanes of multi-lane roads, increasing the risk of hydroplaning. Whenever possible, drive in the middle lanes to minimize this risk.
10. Use Turn Signals Early
In rainy conditions, it’s crucial to give other drivers ample warning of your intentions. Use your turn signals earlier than you would in dry conditions to allow other motorists to react accordingly.
Contact Baker Legal Team for Expert Legal Guidance
Driving in the rain requires extra caution and preparation. Following this advice can considerably lower the risk of accidents and assure your safety when dealing with wet weather conditions. Even when using safe driving techniques, accidents might still occur. Maintain vigilance, adjust to shifting traffic circumstances, and always prioritize safety.