Tips On Driving During the Rainy Season
When it comes to safe driving, one aspect that we have no control over is the weather. The dreaded rainy season comes each year, bringing with it unsafe road conditions for driving. Rain is one of the most dangerous driving hazards that drivers will frequently experience while on the road, especially in periods of time when rainfall is higher, such as the rainy season. Since we have no control over when it’ll be raining, it’s important to be mindful of the weather in order to drive as safe as possible in any given conditions.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are just under 1,235,000 automobile accidents related to weather each year. Even if you aren’t driving in rainy conditions, if it has recently rained, you may still need to practice caution as the roads may be more slippery and harder to drive on. According to the same data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, 46% of those weather-related accidents happen during rainfall, and 70% occur when the road pavement is wet. Therefore, it’s clear to see how driving in rainy weather conditions requires a higher level of caution.
Since we’re currently in the middle of the rainy season, you never know when the weather could go from sunny and clear one second to pouring down rain the next. If you find yourself in these conditions, here are some tips on how to navigate the roads safely.
Turn On Headlights, Stay Alert
One of the first things you should do when you find yourself in inclement weather such as rain is to turn on your car’s headlights. All states require drivers to turn on their headlights in bad weather that causes low visibility. Some states also require your headlights to be on if the weather is bad enough for you to turn on your windshield wipers. Additionally, be alert of your surroundings and be extra cautious when merging lanes by double-checking your blind spots since visibility may be lower than normal.
Watch Out For Hydroplaning
When it is raining or has just recently rained, there can sometimes be an excess of water sitting on top of the road. When this happens, it is possible for your car’s tires to lose traction and hydroplane, which causes your car to slide uncontrollably. This is more likely to occur with tires that have more wear and tear on them, which means it’s important to have your tires’ tread depth checked.
If you find yourself in a situation where your car is hydroplaning, slow your car down by taking your foot off the gas pedal. Use slow steering motions rather than jerking your wheel to avoid overcorrections. Consider learning more about how to deal with hydroplaning by taking a course at your local DMV or driving school.
Turn Off Cruise Control, Slow Down
Along with turning on your headlights, one of the first things you should immediately do when it starts to rain is to slow your car down. Cars are constantly leaving oil and grease on the roads, and when it rains, a very slippery surface is formed. You can stay safe on these slippier roads by slowing down your car and driving defensively. Also, if you’ve been driving on cruise control, make sure to turn it off. If your car starts hydroplaning while in cruise control mode, it can actually make your car go even faster and give you less time to take control of your vehicle.
After it rains, it’s common for puddles of water to build up on either side of the road. When you drive through one of these puddles and create a big splash, that water might enter the engine compartment of your car and cause damage to the internal systems. To avoid this, drive very slowly through the puddles to prevent a splash of water from entering your car. Also, if there is a middle lane in the road you’re driving on, try to stay in that lane to avoid water that typically forms on the left and right sides of the road.
If you follow these tips on driving in the rain, you’ll significantly reduce the risk of an accident. However, even when practicing safe driving habits, you never know when an accident might happen. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a careless or reckless driver and has been injured, call 1-800-411-PAIN and get the help you need! We will refer you to the attorneys that will fight to get you the compensation you deserve and the medical attention you need. If you have been hurt in an accident, call 1-800-411-PAIN, and we will guide you in finding you the best medical and legal professionals.