driving safely in the rain

An Expert’s Guide to Driving Safely in the Rain

By Hoffman Brown Company | , , | No Comments
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Driving safely in the rain can be challenging. The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that driving on wet streets and roads is riskier than on snowy surfaces. According to data, wet pavements account for 70% of weather-related auto accidents, while rainfall accounts for 46%. On the other hand, there’s an aspect of snow, sleet, and slush in roughly 10-20% of car crashes.

However, just because you can’t make it stop raining doesn’t mean driving safely in the rain is impossible.

Here are 10 tips for driving like a pro during wet weather.

  1. Check and replace windshield wipers regularly: As most drivers, you probably check your windshield wipers to ensure they’re in top condition before any long trip.
  2. Ensure proper tire depth and pressure: Keeping tires in great shape helps to provide proper traction on the road. It can minimize the risk of hydroplaning (where the tires skid over a wet surface), allowing you to drive safely.
  3. Use a windshield repellent regularly: Applying a solution like Rain-X to the windshield helps to keep it clear for optimal visibility when it’s raining.
  4. Reduce speed on unfamiliar roads and when approaching construction zones: When you can’t clearly see what lies ahead on the road, make sure to slow down and drive cautiously.
  5. Reduce speed at night: When it’s raining and dark, your vision can decline to a risky level. Combine that with lights reflecting off wet surfaces, and you can see why slowing down when driving on a rainy night makes sense.
  6. Drive at least 5 seconds behind the car ahead: In normal weather, you can safely stay 3 seconds behind just in case the vehicle ahead of you stops suddenly. During rain, you must increase this distance to 5 seconds or more to slow down easily on wet and slippery surfaces.
  7. Beware of obstacles on the road: Don’t be surprised to encounter debris like stones and mud on the road when it rains heavily. Branches or trees can also fall and block roads during a storm. Sometimes, sections of pavement are washed out, creating deep holes. Watch out for these obstacles and reduce your speed or even pull off the road if there are any signs of danger ahead.
  8. Carefully assess road water depth: Flash flooding and water rushing down curbs are common occurrences during heavy rain. Deep, stagnant, or flowing rainwater is equally dangerous as it can cover holes in the road. It can also damage, disable, or sweep your car away.
  9. Beware of hydroplaning: As little as one and a half inches of water on the road can cause car tires to lose grip. If you experience this, calmly turn the wheels toward the skid, not in the opposite direction.
  10. Turn the car lights on: Your car lights will increase visibility in the rain and enable other motorists to spot your vehicle from a safe distance.

These are some of the pointers to keep in mind when it comes to driving safely in the rain. Contact Hoffman Brown Company today to secure the right auto insurance, custom-tailored to your unique needs and budget.