How To Stay Safe When Driving in the Rain

By: Michael Murray

Throughout the year, the roads you travel on may become wet and slick, especially during the months when rain showers are abundant. Rainy conditions not only affect the road, but also influence your vehicle and impair your vision while driving. The best way to increase safety during rainy road conditions is to make sure your vehicle is rain-ready and your on-the-road habits are up to par.

Car Maintenance

To better prepare your car for travel in the rain, you should have your tires checked on a regular basis. Once they show signs of balding, you should have them replaced. The deeper the tread on tires, the more traction you will have to work with. At least once a year, windshield wipers should be replaced, as poor wipers are unable to properly clear the water off of a windshield and also greatly impairs vision. Before driving in rainy weather, make sure the headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signal lights are in working condition. It is also suggested to carry along an emergency kit in the car.

Proper Road Preparation

To lessen the chances of suffering complications on the road, you should allow enough time to get to your intended destination. When you are running late, never attempt to make up lost time by driving faster on the road - instead - call ahead to alert affected parties. Sometimes, roads collect with water during rainy weather and you should prepare to use an alternate route in such cases.

Driving on the Road

It is important to follow proper driving habits when traveling in rainy conditions. For example, one of the main rules regarding driving in the rain is to keep to slower speeds because oil deposits and rain combine on a road to make conditions extremely slippery. Also, the slower you drive, the more traction you will enjoy. Additional rain driving tips include:

1) Be cautious when approaching intersections, which are known to collect higher amounts of oil deposits.

2) Leave extra space between yourself and the driver ahead to give more time to stop if wet weather impedes your driving.

3) When driving, use your headlights, which helps you to see better, as well as alerts oncoming drivers to the presence of your vehicle.

4) When slowing down, take your foot off the accelerator or lightly brake. Drivers should also avoid sudden stops.

5) Driving in the center lanes (where the road is highest) helps avoid water pools that gather along the curb and between lanes.

6) When passing trucks, take special caution because trucks often produce large sprays, which make it more difficult to see the road and surrounding vehicles.

7) Avoid standing water because varying depths of water may cover up damaging objects, such as potholes.

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