Driving in the Rain

Nervous about driving in a downpour? Many accidents occur as a result of the rain, as rain makes it easier for your car to slide due to lost traction. While you should try to refrain from driving in heavy rain, sometimes a commute is unavoidable. Keep yourself safe from the dangers of spring showers with these tips for driving through downpours:

  • Keep Your Vehicle Up-to-Date: Make sure to replace windshield wipers if need be. Visibility is essential to avoiding accidents. Turn on your headlights to further increase visibility. Assess your brakes to avoid slipping. Finally, check the tread on your tires to avoid hydroplaning. Precautions like these make any accidents less likely to occur.
  • Be Cautious: Never drive through a large collection of water, especially if it is moving and you cannot see the bottom. If the water comes up to the opening of your door, do not continue in that direction. Instead, find an alternate route. Be sure to slow down in the rain, since it is more difficult to stop quickly if you are moving at a greater speed. Furthermore, leave more space between your vehicle and other drivers in case one of you slip or have to stop suddenly.
  • Avoid Putting Wheels in Rain: When possible, move to the middle lane or try to drive in the tracks of the car in front of you. The edges of the road are where the most water collects, as the road has a slight curve to create runoff. By staying in the middle, you can reduce the amount of water your tires will have to fight against. Driving in the tracks of the car in front of you achieves the same effect, as these spots have had a momentary lapse of rain from the car in front. However, do not drive directly behind the car in front of you; be sure to leave space so that you may both slow to a stop safely.
  • Turn Off Cruise Control: Cruise control prevents your car from quickly accelerating or decelerating. If you need to speed up, slow down, or stop suddenly due to the rain, you will not be able to do so if cruise control is still on. Cruise control is not to be used in the rain, as it may reduce the traction of your tires and cause you to get in an accident.
  • Don’t Panic: The worst thing you can do in any dangerous situation is to panic, as it inhibits decision-making. Stay calm if your car begins to slide. Do not oppose the direction the car is going in quickly, as it could cause your vehicle to turn over. Ease your foot up off the gas to stop the incident from worsening. Avoid braking suddenly, as this will make the car more difficult to control as a result of the instantaneous shift in balance. Slowly steer in the direction you wish to go to prevent the car from flipping.