It is a challenge to drive safely in the rain. Drivers must take extra precautions to avoid accidents and hydroplaning when the roadways are wet. Wet roads can be hazardous to navigate. Wet roads can cause vehicles to suddenly hydroplane, losing contact with the road’s surface as the vehicle skates above it on the water’s surface, causing the driver to lost control. Stay safe by employing the following tips whenever driving in wet weather.
Prepare Your Vehicle for Inclement Weather
First, be prepared for the possibility of inclement weather by properly maintaining your vehicle, making sure it is equipped to cope with whatever weather that occurs. Make sure your tires have the recommended amount of tread, or greater, and that they’re properly inflated. Bald tires or underinflated tires are the most likely to hydroplane when there is standing water on the roads. Check to ensure that all of your lights are working properly and turn on your headlights. Not only are headlights helpful in times of reduced visibility, but they also help to make your vehicle visible to other drivers. It’s also important to maintain your windshield wipers by replacing them at the first sign of smearing or streaking.
Compensate for Reduced Visibility
First, be aware that driving visibility is reduced when rain is falling. Take steps to compensate for this by one, making sure your windshield is clear. Use your car’s temperature control system to keep the windshield free of fog. If necessary, blow the air conditioning onto the windshield to clear it. The second way to compensate for reduced visibility is to reduce your driving speed while increasing your following distance. This “cushion space” reduces the chances your car will hydroplane and gives you more space in which to recover control if it does. Sometimes, rain falls so hard that visibility is all but obscured. In cases such as these, it is generally wisest to find a safe place to pull off the road until visibility improves. The emphasis here is on finding a “safe” place, such as beneath an overpass, or in a parking lot. If you must pull over on the side of the road, engage your vehicle’s flashers to warn other drivers.
Drive with Caution and Watch for Road Hazards
Be a proactive driver by watching for potential road hazards, especially in the rain. Things to watch for include standing water on the road, debris, displaced animals and other vehicles, including those that may be pulled over or wrecked. Do not use cruise control in wet weather as cruise control increases the chances your vehicle will hydroplane. Should you suddenly lose control of your vehicle, take your foot off the accelerator and gently steer in the direction of any available and safe open space. Use particular care when passing other vehicles on wet roads. If, despite your best efforts, an accident occurs, follow recommended accident procedures and at first opportunity, call William W Hurst to discuss your legal options.
Finally, remain vigilant even after the rain has stopped if there are puddles on the road. Other cars and drivers may not be as well-prepared as you. Never cross potentially deep standing water. When driving through standing water, keep to the highest part of the road and go slowly. Never drive through standing water in flood conditions as it is possible the roadbed has degraded or washed away. As little as two feet of water can displace your car and cost you your life. Don’t take chances. It’s better to arrive late than not at all.