Singing in the rain? That’s a glorious feeling. Driving in the rain… now that is a different story.
Driving in the rain can not only be stressful, it also increases your exposure to potential road and traffic hazards. In fact, rainy conditions and wet roads contribute to the greatest number of weather-related accidents involving motor vehicles. Whether it’s a torrential downpour or just a light drizzle, wet weather can greatly affect road conditions and visibility as well as your ability to respond to last-minute changes in traffic patterns.
For Floridians, driving in the rain can be encountered year-round, but it can be especially dangerous during during Hurricane Season (May 15-November 30) when weather conditions typically produce heavier rain and wind than other times of the year.
Here are some tips you should follow while driving in the rain. Taking the proper safety precautions in wet weather can mitigate road risks and can help prevent your exposure to an accident resulting in personal injury or an insurance claim.
How to Stay Safe While Driving in the Rain
Turn Off Cruise Control
Cruise control can be a great feature for drivers to maintain consistent speed and gas mileage, but it can prove fateful while driving in the rain. Leaving cruise control on while driving reduces your ability to respond to last-minute changes in traffic patterns. It also leaves you with less control over your vehicle in the event of loss-of-traction, which could result in hydroplaning.
Slow Down and Keep a Safe Distance
When driving in wet weather, it’s important to keep in mind that your vehicle will respond differently to last-minute actions. It may take longer for your car to come to a stop if you need to engage the break or you may have trouble controlling your vehicle at high speeds. That’s why it is important to maintain a safe – often slower – speed than you normally would in dry conditions. You should also yield increased distance between yourself and other vehicles.
Know What to Do if You Skid/Hydroplane
Even if you adhere to the above safety precautions while driving in the rain, you are not totally immune to unseen road risks. Poorly maintained roads can increase the likelihood of skidding/hydroplaning in wet weather.
If you find your vehicle starting to skid, it’s important to remember:
- Not to slam on the breaks as it could cause your vehicle to loose greater balance and control
- Keep your eyes focused on the direction you want the vehicle to go and keep both hands firmly on the wheel. Attempting to over-correct your vehicle can cause you to loose balance
For more personal injury safety tips, check out our blog.