With the nice weather of summer comes the pop-up summer rain showers. Driving in rain can be stressful and is therefore a leading cause of car crashes on the roadways. Why? People try to drive in wet conditions as though it’s dry. The US Department of Transportation states that there are approximately 900,000 car crashes every year from wet pavement.
As rain can cause dangerous conditions on the roads, it’s important to proceed cautiously. From your friends at SafeAuto, review these safety tips for driving in the rain before hitting the roads.
- Check Tire Tread. In order to feel safest on the roads, your tires need to be in good shape. Your tires should have more than 1/16” of the tread remaining.
- Remain Alert. While driving on wet roadways, it’s important to do your best to pay attention to what is going on around you. Driving can become second nature, which can become problematic in inclement weather. Thus, when the weather is less-than-ideal, it is important to adjust your driving appropriately.
- Drive Slow. The time during and shortly after a rainstorm are the most dangerous on the road. Speed limits are meant to designate the speed in which you should drive during ideal driving conditions. When the roads are wet, it’s best to drive under the speed limit to help reduce the likelihood of being involved in an accident.
- Increase Visibility. When visibility on the roads is low, most states require drivers to use their headlights. Along with using your windshield wipers, having your headlights on is a secondary condition to practice safe driving on the roads.
- Brake with Caution. In normal driving conditions, the rule of thumb is to allow a three-second following distance, but this is not the case for when the roads are slick from the wet weather. Thus, it’s imperative that you allow more time to brake between you and the cars in front of you to prevent a potential car accident.
- Avoid Cruise Control. Although cruise control can be convenient in optimal driving conditions, it will work against you when it rains. If you are using cruise control on wet roads, you could hydroplane, causing you to lose control of your car. Therefore, when it rains, using cruise control is not the safest choice.
- Avoid the Splash. Although driving through large puddles of water may appear harmless, it can cause your car problems. If the water seeps into the engine, it can damage your internal systems. Avoid this by driving around them instead of through them.
Knowing how to handle the roads in wet weather can be tricky. We hope these tips for driving in the rain help you on your next drive ahead in wet conditions. As always, if you are in the market for an auto insurance quote, don’t hesitate to check out SafeAuto!