How to Drive Safely in the Rain
In fact, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 46 percent of weather-related crashes happened during rainfall, but just 17 percent while it was snowing or sleeting.
This article will mention lots of important things that you should do to make driving in the rain safer. All of these will be divided into three main parts, including (1) getting your car rain-ready before it rains, (2) driving appropriately for the raining conditions and (3) reacting to emergencies.
Part 1: Getting Your Car Rain-Ready
It is better for you to check your car before you go out because this helps you to get where you need to go safely. The inspection includes keeping your windows clean and clear,maintaining your lights and tires, and checking your windshield wipers. If you can make sure all is working well, you will feel safe when you driveunder the rains suddenly.
Keep your windows clean and clear
The key to safe driving at any
- Regularly make your windows clean, both inside and outside.
- In case your windows are fogged up, you should turn the air conditioner on. Besides, you should also turn the rear defroster on and open car windows if needed.
Maintain your lights
You ought to bring your car to a mechanic to adjust headlights. This will ensure that you will see clearly the road ahead and help you not make
- Check frequently to ensure that all of the lights are in good working conditions
- Regularly clean light covers to protect your car’s lights from dust and dirt.
Maintain your tires
You will be in danger if you drive with bad tires. If your tires do not have proper traction, you can easily have accidents, especially in wet conditions.
Tires usually have
Inspect your windshield wipers
You will be in trouble if you drive without windshield wipers. Thus, driving in the wet weather will be like swimming without goggles.
You can clean dirt on the rubber wiper blades by rubbing the surface with rubbing alcohol, but if you notice any cracks or lack of pieces you should buy a new set.
Make sure that the motor and linkage are working properly and you should get them inspected if you see what is broken.
Part 2: Driving Appropriately under the Raining Conditions
During any inclement weather or unfavorable driving conditions, your first reaction should always be to adjust your speed accordingly. Wet roads reduce your traction, and slowing down reduces the chances of you skidding out, and will give you more time to react to emergencies.
- Wet roads can reduce your traction by about a third, so you should also reduce your speed by a third.
- Even small amounts of water can make the road more slippery, because the water mixes with oils on the road, and this creates a greasy layer.
- Driving too quickly on wet roads can lead to slipping, which means that your tires lose contact with the road. When a car faces with slippery conditions, you have very little control in terms of steering or braking.
Turn on your windshield wipers
- Replace your wipers every year to prevent them from cracking, breaking, or not sealing properly when you need them most.
- Try a hydrophobic washer fluid that will cause water to bead up and drip off your windshield, rather than sticking to it and blocking your view.
- Keeping your eyes on the road at all times
- Paying attention to what drivers and pedestrians are doing around you.
- Turning off the radio, and ignoring your cell phone and other electronic devices.
- Ceasing any conversations you were having with passengers.
- Not eating, reading, or putting on makeup while driving.
Turn your headlights on
Remember, you are not the only one affected by poor visibility. You may be able to see cars without their headlights on but others may not have vision or windshield wipers as good as yours.
Many states require headlights to be turned on when it is raining or when visibility is reduced to less than 500 feet. In some states, it is actually illegal to drive without headlights when it is raining.
There are two reasons why you should drive with your lights on in the rain:
- First of all, your headlights will make it easier for other drivers to see your car.
- Second, rain typically means cloudy skies, and turning your lights on will help you see the road better.
Drive with both hands on the wheel
While traditional wisdom said to drive with your hands at 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock on the steering wheel, this increases the chances of injury from airbags in case of a collision.
Stay five seconds behind the car in front of you
- To determine how many seconds you are behind another car, make note of when that car passes a landmark (like a street sign) and then count how many seconds it takes before your car passes that same landmark.
- Leaving space includes leaving an opening where you can escape quickly if necessary. To do this, make sure you always leave at least one open space beside or in front of you that you can move into.
Avoid slamming on the brakes
- Instead of braking, you can also slow yourself down by easing off the accelerator, and downshifting if you have a manual transmission.
- Not being able to stop as quickly in the rain is another reason why it is so important to leave extra space between your car and the one in front of you.
Make a turn slowly
Just like driving under normal conditions, you should reduce the speed of your turns by about a third when it is raining.
Don’t use cruise control
Pull over if necessary
- Other things that can reduce your visibility include the glare from other car lights and lightning.
- You may also need to pull over if there’s too much water on the road, the road is too slick, or you simply don’t feel safe.
- To pull over safely, turn on your signal, check your mirror and blind spots, pull over as far as possible to the side of the road, and turn on your four-way lights.
Part 3: Reacting to Emergencies
Turn around if you encounter deep or moving water
- Moving water is too deep if you cannot see the ground.
- Do not proceed through deep water if it comes higher than the bottom of your door.
- If you encounter these types of road flooding, turn around and find another route. In a case where the only route is blocked, pull over and wait out the flooding.
Be prepared to react if you are hydroplaning
When it happens, your car may not react when you turn the steering wheel, and your back end may feel loose. In the event that your car is in hydroplane condition:
- Stay calm
- Avoid turning the steering wheel
- Ease your foot off the accelerator
- Apply slow and gentle pressure to the brakes
Know what to do if you start to skid