Don't Blame It On the Rain
Though rain is blamed for thousands of accidents each year, most of these collisions are preventable and not the rain's fault at all. Rather, the true culprits of foul-weather crashes are audacious drivers failing to appreciate that they need to save their most cautious driving for a rainy day.
Here are a few wet-road reminders for those days when the rain won't go away:
- Be extremely cautious when it rains after a long dry spell. Oil and grease build up over time and when it first rains, the first few hours are the slickest.
- When it rains, bad traffic pours. You know traffic will be congested, so give yourself a few extra minutes to get to your destination.
- Don't want to slip n' slide into other vehicles? Give yourself larger space cushions so you have more time to stop and never have to slam on the brake pedal.
- See and be seen! When it's raining, everyone's visibility is compromised. Remember to turn your headlights on and keep your windows defogged. Also, be on the lookout for cars without lights on, pedestrians, and other road obstacles that might get lost in the rainy shuffle.
- Unless you drive a hovercraft, the inner lanes of the road are probably your best bet. Most roads slope downward toward the curb where you'll find those deep, hard to avoid puddles.
- Don't use your cruise control when the roads are wet. If you hydroplane while cruising, your car may abruptly accelerate. Not to mention that cruise control is not the brightest idea when rain-soaked roads call for you to be your most vigilant.
- If your car does start to hydroplane, don't panic: turning the wheel or slamming on the brakes are bad ideas! Rather, take your foot off the gas and hold the steering wheel firm until your car regains traction with the road.
As long as raindrops keep falling on your head, there will inevitably be days when driving conditions are less than ideal. It would be great if you could stay off the streets when the weather takes a turn for the worse, but the reality is that you have places to go and people to see. Just remember that not all driving conditions were created equal, and when it comes to wet roads, you need to be on your best behavior!