Slippery roads, dark skies and foggy windshields — rainy weather provides the kind of adverse driving conditions that can impede even the most experienced driver. Read on for advice and tips on everything from reducing glare to DIY car maintenance tips to prepare you for driving in the rain in the Northeast.
Some of the most dangerous times for driving are when it rains after a prolonged dry spell. In such cases, the road will become slippery with a combination of dried-up accumulated vehicle grease and rainwater. This oil/water combination can substantially increase the risk of skidding. Your accident risks are high while driving in the first few hours after sudden rain, so drive cautiously.
Driving Tips for Rainy Weather
Exercise care while applying the brakes in rainy weather. Don’t brake abruptly or too suddenly. Rather, start braking slowly so that you have enough time to come to a complete stop and can avoid hitting the car in front. This also lets the drivers behind you know that you are decelerating. Use hand signals and other signals liberally to alert your intention to the motorist behind you. Stay in the middle of the road and avoid driving at the sides, as much as possible.
One of the bigger dangers while driving in heavy rain is hydroplaning or loss of brake control or steering control across a wet surface. When a car hydroplanes, a thin film of water comes between the tire and the surface of the road, and you might feel that the car is beginning to skid. Avoid hydroplaning by driving at safe speeds on wet roads and avoiding hard braking. Don’t drive in standing water. If you find yourself hydroplaning, brake gently until you feel your car tires coming back into contact with the road again. Brake normally if your car comes with antilock brakes.
It might seem tempting to splash through a stream of running water dramatically, but such stunts can actually increase your risk of a rollover accident. Don’t underestimate the force generated by large volumes of running water – they can tip your car over.
Use technology in your car to drive safely. Turn on your headlights, even in a slight drizzle. It allows other motorists see you. Turn on the air conditioner and defrosters to avoid fogging of the windshield. Avoid using cruise control in rainy weather. If your car gets caught in a hydroplaning situation, the speeds will accelerate when on cruise control.
Car Maintenance for Safe Driving in the Rain
Prepare your car for driving in the rain before a typical rainy season in your area. Make sure that the tires are inflated and check tire pressure regularly. Replace tires, if necessary. Make sure your windshield wipers are in perfect condition and replace damaged blades if necessary. Check brake pressure frequently. If you drive in an area that sees heavy rainfall, invest in a car that comes with antilock brakes, electronic stability control and traction control.
Always travel with an emergency kit in the car. Your kit should contain a flashlight, food and water supplies, roadside flares, 12-foot jumper cable, antifreeze, blankets, extra batteries, pocketknife, and other supplies.
Often, car accidents in adverse weather are the result of negligent driving. If you have suffered injuries in an accident that was caused by a negligent motorist, you likely have legal rights to compensation for your losses. Speak with a lawyer at our firm about the compensation options available to you.
Call 1-800-529-1222 to speak with an attorney at our firm or fill out our online contact form to have a lawyer call you to discuss your case. Initial consultations are free!