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What you should know before driving in the rain

Car crash on major highway during rainfall at night. Ambulance in foreground and police car in background.

Driving in the rain in any condition can be extremely difficult. Rainy conditions are directly associated with higher accident rates. With wet roads comes reduced visibility that will effect the way you normally would react to any obstacle or the way your vehicle drives.

TIPS TO KNOW

Wait Until the Weather Improves if Possible

If you don’t feel comfortable driving in the rain, then the safest option is to wait it out until the rain clears before hitting the road.

Check your cars equipment

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It’s always best to make sure time to time that your lights, brakes, turn signals are working. Also make sure your tire has enough air in it, and is not worn down. Balding tires can severely reduce traction on the roadway.

Slow Down

Always follow the speed limit, but in wet conditions, slowing down is the best practice. Wet roads reduce your vehicles reaction time to be a lot slower than when it’s not raining.

Turn On Your Headlights

Most newer vehicles headlights turn on automatically. If you have to manually turn on your lights, always while driving in rain. When you have your lights on in the rain, your vehicle’s headlights will increase both your own visibility and other drivers’ ability to see your car on the road.

Use Your Windshield Wipers

This should be common scenes, turn on your windshield wipers when it’s raining. Also there are several products available that can be sprayed or wiped onto the glass and claim to defer the collection of rainwater.

Maintain a Safe Distance Between Cars

Always keep a greater distance between you and the vehicle in front of you. Best practice is to keep several car lengths between you and the vehicle in front of you. Stopping your vehicle will be more difficult when driving in the rain. 

Avoid Heavy Braking

Slow down and take your foot off the accelerator earlier than you usually would. This will help you in preparedness of any sudden slow down or stop.

Watch Out For Standing Water

When you drive though puddles of water, this can cause hydroplaning. That’s when you loose traction, and skid off of the surface of the road. When driving in the rain drive in the middle lanes to avoid areas most common to have puddles of water.

If you find your self in the situation where you are hydroplaning, let your food off the gas, and steer in the direction that the front of your car needs to go. Making any sudden turns or slamming on your brakes will cause you to lose control.

Ventilate Your Car

When it’s raining, it will cause humidity to form inside your car, making your windows foggy. Always make sure you have air circulating through the cab of your vehicle to prevent any fog ups. If needed, pull over if you are no longer able to see through your windows.