It pays to drive safely in the rain. As we enter Spring, heavy rain storms will be on the rise. At Life Saver Pool Fence, we take all forms of water safety very seriously.
Did you know that wet pavement contributes to nearly 1.2 million traffic crashes each year? It’s true. Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. To help keep you and your family safe, we’ve put together a helpful guide to keep you on the road and out of harm’s way.
Drive Safely in the Rain With These Tips
Keep Those Lights On!
Even if your car has automatic lights, make sure that you turn on your headlights. This also activates your tail lights. Together, a fully lit vehicle ensures that cars can see you both in front of and behind you.
Additionally, your car and the cars in front of you, can act as a “guide” if the rain becomes extremely heavy. When visibility is obstructed, the standard lights of other cars will help keep you on track.
On the other hand, you should not turn on your brights when surrounded by other drivers. Bright lights can irritate other driver’s eyes. If your visibility becomes too difficult, pull over, turn on your emergency lights, and wait for the rain to subside. No matter where you are headed, it is not worth risking your life!
How to Respond to a Skid or Hydroplaning
Skidding and hydroplaning are two different but similar hazards on the road. When skidding, your tires maintain contact with the road, but lose traction. Skidding can happen on dry roads, or gravel, but both feel remarkably similar to the driver. Hydroplaning occurs when your tires hit a patch of water on the road and sort of “float.” Essentially, your tires lose contact with the pavement. If you have never experienced either, it usually feels like your car is on water skis. Knowing how to handle both situations is absolutely key when learning to drive safely in the rain.
If you feel your car beginning to skid or hydroplane, first, let off the gas. Next, continue to look and steer in the direction you want to go. Remember: “turn into the skid.”
Above all, do not hit the brakes. Slamming on your brakes will upset the balance of your vehicle. It will make your car unpredictable and harder to control.
Always use extra caution in the rain to avoid hydroplaning. Remember to make complete stops and avoid accelerating too fast.
Don’t Use Cruise Control in The Rain
Cruise control is an amazing feature, but it’s absolutely not designed to help you drive safely in the rain. Therefore, cruse control should never be used during a storm. This is true even in light-to-moderate precipitation. If you hydroplane while using cruise control, the automatic acceleration can potentially cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
Slow Down While You Drive Safely in the Rain
As the old adage goes: speed kills. Be sure to leave at least five seconds of following distance between your car and the one in front of you. Typically, this is roughly 100 feet. Don’t ever feel pressured to match the speed limit, even if you have a car right behind you. In hazardous situations, your safety, and the safety of other drivers, should be your top priority. Driving fast in the rain increases your chances of hydroplaning.
Keep Your Windshield Clean
Clean the outside and the inside of your windshield at least once a month. (You can do this by visiting a car wash and using glass cleaner.) Don’t rely on your window washing fluid as a measure to keep your windshield clean. Windshield wiper fluid should be used for immediate debris that you want to remove. It usually leaves behind a clears build up overtime that can impede your driving ability.
Know the Roads
It’s not the same idea as active supervision, but paying attention in the rain is key. If you are relying on your GPS and it starts to rain, pull over and review your directions. It’s critical that you avoid being distracted in a storm. You don’t want to be looking at your phone or GPS during a torrential downpour. If you don’t know where you are and you get stuck in a rainstorm, it’s best to just pull over and wait it out.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to avoid unexpected hazards and drive safely in the rain.