Top Tips for Driving in Heavy Rain
By: Luke Shaff ~
It’s rainy season here in the Pacific Northwest and boy do we need it! After such a brutally hot summer, we are excited and welcome the rain. Driving in dry hot weather is so much different than driving when it is raining, whether it is just sprinkling or down pour. It is easy to forget the tips and tricks you need to remember how to safely drive in the rain. Here are a few top tips to stay safe as the rain and winter continue to approach us.
- If you can, wait until the rain has subsided. Don’t drive if you don’t have to. Many people think it’s just rain, but driving in the rain can actually be very dangerous.
- Check your car! It’s so important that everything is working when driving in rainy conditions. Most of the time when it’s raining it is dark and cloudy, so it is imperative that your headlights, tail lights, fog lights are all working. This makes it easier for you to be seen when driving in these conditions.
- SLOW DOWN! You will think you can go the same speed as you can when it is dry on the roads, but you can’t. It is so important that you slow down and keep your distance from the cars in front of you. Your car has a slower reaction time, and can slide if you are slamming on your breaks to stop. Going slower (even 5 miles an hour) can help avoid from being in an accident.
- Watch for standing water. Hydroplaning is one of the biggest weather-related accidents in the United States. Hydroplaning is when you lose traction and skid across the surface of the road. You can avoid this by driving slower with rain, and also by avoiding places on the road way where rain has collected. Avoid changing lanes, making sudden turns and slamming on your breaks. If you are hydroplaning you want to calmly take your foot of the gas and if safe, steer your car in the direction it needs to go.
- Don’t forget that your car fogs up! Sometimes you will think that your car is fine, but once you hit that defrost button, you see that it actually was an impairment to you seeing outside. Ensure that you use it whenever it is getting hard to see, and use your windshield wipers! Even if it is just sprinkling, rain impairs your vision and you think it’s fine until it’s not.
With the rain picking up, decide what route is best for you to take and if you feel safe enough to drive, be sure to take all of the right precautions before hitting the road. With Fall here, be sure to take your care into the shop to have all of your maintenance done before the bad weather, so you can avoid having to drive in it. Happy Fall and Happy Driving!