How To Drive Sane While In The Rain
Here’s a not-so-fun fact: most car crashes caused by weather occur on wet roads and during rainfall. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 73 percent of weather-related car accidents occur on wet roads, with 46 percent occurring during rainfall. Interestingly, a smaller percentage of accidents are attributed to winter weather conditions, with 17 percent during snow or sleet, 14 percent on snowy or slushy roads, and 13 percent on icy roads. AAA estimates that wet roads contribute to almost 1.2 million car crashes yearly.
Slow And Steady Wins The Race!
When driving in rainy conditions, it’s important to remember two key words: slow and gentle. You should drive at a slower speed and apply gentle force to all actions, including steering and braking. Here are some additional tips to help you stay safe on wet roads:
- Increase your following distance: Leave more space between your car and the vehicle in front of you to give yourself more time to react to sudden stops or turns.
- Use your headlights: Turn on your headlights so you can see the road ahead and other drivers can see you.
- Avoid sudden movements: Make gradual movements when braking, accelerating, and turning to avoid losing control of your vehicle.
- Check your tires: Make sure your tires have sufficient tread depth and are properly inflated to improve traction on wet roads.
- Avoid standing water: Don’t drive through standing water or flooded areas, as it can be difficult to gauge the depth and it could damage your vehicle.
By following these tips, you can help reduce your risk of being involved in a weather-related car accident.
Hydroplaning occurs when a layer of water builds up between the vehicle’s tires and the road, resulting in reduced contact and traction. This phenomenon can be particularly dangerous during heavy rain and can cause steering and braking to become difficult, potentially leading to loss of control of the vehicle.
If your car hydroplanes, reduce your speed by easing off the accelerator and lightly applying the brakes. Avoid steering abruptly, as when your tires regain traction, it may cause the vehicle to veer off the road.
In case of heavy rain that significantly obscures your vision, it’s best to pull over to the side of the road. Look for a rest stop or parking lot to wait out the downpour. However, if you have to stop on the roadside, make sure to pull off as far as possible and turn on your hazard lights to alert other drivers of your presence.
On a rainy day, certain features in your vehicle can be particularly helpful. These include:
- Anti-lock brakes (ABS): This system helps prevent the loss of steering control when braking hard on wet roads.
- Traction and stability control: These features can help prevent skidding or losing control when accelerating or turning on slippery surfaces.
- Lane-keeping assist: This feature uses sensors to help keep your vehicle in its lane, especially when visibility is reduced due to rain or fog.
It is recommended to avoid using cruise control on wet roads, as it can reduce your control of the car. It’s crucial to have complete control over your vehicle, especially during adverse weather conditions.
A Few Extra Tips
To prepare your car for driving in the rain, ensure that your windshield wipers are working well and not leaving any streaks. Also, check that your headlights, taillights, and brake lights function correctly.
Additionally, examine your tire tread depth and inflation. You can quickly check your tread depth by inserting a quarter upside down into your tire tread. If the tread covers part of Washington’s head, then you have more than 4/32 of an inch of tread remaining. However, if the top of Washington’s head is visible at any point, you should consider replacing your tires.
Driver’s Auto Mart
You can apply all of these useful tips after buying one of our like-new vehicles at Driver’s Auto Mart. We sell a wide variety of vehicles from several popular brands like Chevy, Hyundai, Nissan, and more.
Check out our online pre-owned inventory to see all that we have to offer and chat with one of our representatives for further information.