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Safety Tips for Driving in the Rain

For many parts of the country, January marks the beginning of the worst weather that winter can bring, not December. You might be in for a rainy season that makes the roads in your hometown unsafe to drive. To stay safe when you’re driving in the rain, it helps to start right now by reading some safety tips.

10 safety tips for driving in the rain:

  1. Plan your route: If you know the roads you are driving on and which ones you want to take while driving, then you will be less likely to make sudden braking or turns that can increase your risk of losing control in the rain.
  2. Postpone your trip: When the rain is heavy and the roads are congested, the best way to avoid a car accident caused by the rain is to not drive at all. Postpone your trip to the next sunny day if it isn’t important enough to brave the inclement weather.
  3. Use the headlights: Turn on your headlights whenever it is raining or overcast. Use just your normal headlights. Don’t use your high beams because they can blind other drivers and yourself as the bright lights reflect off sheets of rain. Your fog lights won’t do much to help either.
  4. Reduce your speed: As a general rule, you should drive at least 5 miles per hour slower than you normally would when it is raining. The heavier the rain and the denser the traffic, the more you should reduce your speed.
  5. Try not to hydroplane: Driving too quickly in the rain can cause your vehicle to hydroplane, which means the tires are actually driving on the water on the road, not the road itself. Depending on the vehicle you are driving, hydroplaning can happen anywhere between 35 mph and 50 mph.
  6. Don’t ford without checking: You might get excited to drive through a puddle of water because it causes a big splash. But should never ford across water without knowing its depth. If a puddle is deep enough, your engine could flood as you drive through it, causing you to stall and get stuck. Also, you should never attempt to cross running water, even if it looks shallow. Find another route around.
  7. Steer during a slide: If you do lose control of your vehicle because of the rain, you might start to slide one way or another. To get out of a slide safely, take your foot off the gas and don’t slam the brakes. Instead, try to coast and steer smoothly toward the direction you want to go. With luck and skill, your car should eventually right its course safely.
  8. Brake gradually: Speaking of braking safely, hard braking events are dangerous, especially in the rain. Apply the brake gradually whenever you come to a stop. Pay close attention to the traffic in front of you, too, so you know when a stop is coming up.
  9. Don’t use cruise control: Using cruise control is convenient when you’re on a long drive, but it isn’t something you should do while it is raining. It can take too long to react to a change in traffic if you’re using cruise control. Refrain from using it so you stay in better control of your vehicle.
  10. Put the smartphone down: Distracted driving and the rain are a recipe for a disaster. Do not use your smartphone when your vehicle is in operation, which includes being stopped at a red light.

From all of us at Omega Law Group, PC, we hope you and your family stay safe on the road, no matter the weather. For more useful information about how to drive safely in the rain, you can visit these resources:

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