How to Drive Safely During the Rainy Season
The rain is coming down hard and even though your windshield wipers are on high, you can't see! It's a scary moment and anyone who has been driving for any period of time has encountered this scenario more than once. At Anderson Behel, we see many accidents in Santa Clara, CA caused by extreme rain and people driving recklessly, so here are some helpful tips to consider.
In addition to the limited visibility that comes with heavy rain storms, drivers need to be careful to protect themselves against serious factors things like hydroplaning. Hydroplaning can occur when a vehicle is traveling at an unsafe rate in serious rain conditions, causing the car's tires to glide on a thin layer of water as opposed to adhering to the surface of the road or highway. Every time this takes place, it puts you in a perilous space, because hydroplaning will instantaneously make steering and braking exceedingly difficult and could even lead to you losing complete control of your vehicle.
Follow these directives to stay safe and in one piece while driving in intense rain:
- Slow Down...Now: Driving at a slow speed is the ideal way to keep your car from hydroplaning. When it comes to hydroplaning, speed is your #1 enemy, so take your foot off the gas a little bit to keep four tires on the road. Also keep in mind that one of the most hazardous times to drive is immediately after it begins to rain, as oil on the road make for slick conditions. If you can avoid rushing to your destination while it's raining, you will get there without drama--safe and hopefully dry.
- Keep Your Lights On: Illuminate your headlights on to enable other vehicles see you more clearly. Most states mandate the use of headlights during rain and in broad daylight as well. It's a smart thing to do, because it is likely that if you're having issues seeing, other drivers are experiencing the same problem.
- Give Other Cars Some Space: Add a few yards between your car and never tailgate in the rain, which gives you and the vehicles in front and behind you ample time to react to traffic in time. It seems like a very dangerous move, but people tailgate in heavy rain all the time with dire results.
In conclusion, take a deep breath and drive prudently and you will be all right. Put simply, don't speed or tailgate ever and especially never in the rain and you will make it through to the next storm!
Sources: AARP, DMV.org and Yahoo