Driving in the rain is something every driver has to deal with at some point. Rain happens and drivers still have places to go, even if the roads are wet. However, that does not mean that driving in challenging weather should be taken lightly. Remaining cautious and keeping control of your vehicle can sometimes be difficult. With that in mind, here are our tips on how to drive safely in the rain.
1. Decide if you should drive
When you are thinking about driving in wet weather, make sure to think about whether it’s necessary before getting in the car. It’s one thing if you know you need to go out, whether it be to pick someone up or get home as quickly as possible. However, make sure to ask yourself if you think you can handle driving in the conditions. Just like how you would avoid driving in heavy snow, you should proceed with the same amount of caution with heavy rain. If it isn’t necessary to go out, try to wait out the worst of the storm before getting back on the road.
2. Take your time
When there is any rain intensity, delays and an extended commute will slow down. So, you shoul always be aware of slowing down when driving in inclement weather. Not only should you be more cautious of your surroundings, but also of your driving speed. Your vehicle’s reaction times will be more delayed in rainy conditions, so driving slower is recommended. Don’t forget to take extra care when the rain starts while en route, as fresh rain will bring out the oil on the roadways and make the driving conditions much slicker.
3. Use your windshield wipers
Using windshield wipers during inclement weather may seem like a no-brainer, but it is still worth mentioning. Drivers often forget to turn on their windshield wipers while the rain is not heavy, but any impaired vision for the driver can have heavy consequences. The windshield wiper speed is adjustable in most vehicles to remove moisture from a light mist to torrential downpours. Though products are available on the market to help minimize rainwater collection on the glass, it is always best to remember to use your windshield wipers when driving in the rain. Additionally, make sure your wiper fluid is topped up in case of mucky conditions!
4. Turn on your headlights
When thinking about how to drive safely in the rain, make sure not to forget about your headlights. If you are driving with your windshield wipers, your lights should be, too. Your headlights help increase visibility in any situation, including rainfall, making it far easier for pedestrians and other drivers to see you on the road. Doing this will help ensure you and others get to your destination safely with the most visibility possible.
5. Don’t use cruise control
Though cruise control may be helpful in some circumstances, driving in inclement weather is not one of them. Applying cruise control while driving in the rain can lead to your car hydroplaning when it approaches standing water. Remembering this is even more important in the rain during the colder winter months. Why? Because the icy conditions can make your car slide and ultimately result in you losing control of your vehicle. When driving in the rain, it is always best to have complete control of your vehicle so that you can act accordingly when necessary.
6. Stay calm if hydroplaning
Though losing control of your vehicle can be frightening, it is far more common than you think. Hydroplaning “happens when the tires on your vehicle lose their grip on a road surface and instead travel on a film of water sitting on top of the road. Hydroplaning dramatically reduces a driver’s ability to steer and brake…Hydroplaning is caused by a combination of road conditions, vehicle speed, tread depth and vehicle weight.”
If you find yourself in the situation where you are hydroplaning, take a breath and calmly take your foot off the accelerator. Begin to steer in the direction that the front of the car needs to go. Make sure to avoid slamming the brakes or making any sudden or sharp turns. This is one of our most important tips on how to drive safely in the rain.
7. Look out for pedestrians
Since visibility is low during heavy rain, it is even more crucial that you keep a sharp eye out for pedestrians. Also, try your best not to splash pedestrians; you can be careful not to do this by watching for puddles or collected water by the sides of the road where pedestrians will walk parallel. You can avoid this by sticking to the middle lanes.
Safety is the most important thing to consider whenever getting behind the wheel, and at isure, your safety is alwys a top priority. Most accidents and fatalities happen during inclement weather, so when you are on the road, be alert at all times. We hope our tips above give you a better idea of how to drive safely in the rain. We always ensure that our customers are happy with their personalized insurance policy, so feel free to contact us today before getting behind the wheel.