Driving In the Rain Safety
Low visibility and slippery terrain make for an intimidating combination, but wet weather doesn’t have to keep you from getting to your destination. Before you get caught in a storm, read these safety tips to keep you safe on the roads.
BEFORE YOU DRIVE
- Check the tread and air pressure on your tires. Tire tread depth and proper inflation are critical for maintaining traction in slippery conditions.
- Regularly replace your windshield wiper inserts.
- Make sure all your headlights, brake lights, taillights, and turn signals are functioning.
SEE AND BE SEEN
- Use your headlights; even if you are able to see the road clearly, it will make your car more visible to other drivers and pedestrians.
- Keep your car’s windows defogged.
- If the air outside is colder than the air inside your car, the fog will be on the inside of your car windows. Turn on the defrost vent, turn up the AC, and crack a window if the rain isn’t too heavy.
- If the air outside is warmer than the air inside your car, the fog will be on the outside of your car windows. Turn on your windshield wipers, and turn off the AC.
KNOW WHERE TO DRIVE
- Slow down, and increase the distance between your car and other cars. This gives the ability to account for the increased amount of time it will take to brake. It also prevents extra spray from standing water that can lower visibility.
- Stay to the middle lanes. Rain tends to pool in the outside lanes.
- Drive in the same tracks as the car in front of you.
- Avoid standing water and puddles, especially if you are not sure of their depth.
- If you begin to skid, remain calm, and avoid breaking, as it may lock your tires. Instead, gradually reduce your speed and steer gently into the skid, aligning your car front to back.
- Similarly, if you begin to hydroplane, remain calm and avoid breaking because it may lock your tires. Do not make any abrupt direction changes. Steer straight until traction is regained.
- Never use cruise control in wet-weather driving conditions. While you may think it helps steady the car, it can actually cause you to lose control on slick surfaces. It can also cause your car to go faster in a skid in the event you do hydroplane.
- Always wear your seatbelt.
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