How many times have you found yourself driving in the rain unexpectedly? It’s amazing how quickly a beautiful, sunny day can deteriorate into a downpour. Are you prepared to navigate those abrupt changes?
Knowing how to adjust to damp weather can mean the difference between safely returning home and a hospital visit. Avoid a preventable accident by learning how to drive safely on rain-soaked roadways.
How Rain Contributes to the Creation of Unusual Driving Conditions
Driving safely in the rain requires you to be aware of potential hazards and know how to avoid them. Clear, dry roads with excellent traction can quickly deteriorate into a sloppy nightmare, particularly during light rain or the initial minutes of a rainstorm. Consider the following statistics the next time you’re driving in the rain:
- When Rain begins to fall, it tends to make streets extremely treacherous, especially if the weather has been dry.
- During the first few minutes, water reacts with the oil residue, forming an ice-slick surface with minimal grip for your wheels.
- Allow the rain to wash away any remaining oil before you begin driving.
- Thunderstorms can generate problems that appear unconnected to road traffic but have an effect on it.
- Strong winds have the potential to uproot trees, break off branches, and bring down power lines. Significant hazards can be created by large tree limbs and swinging live electrical cables.
- Flooding is another issue that might arise unexpectedly during torrential rains.
- Three inches of water is all that is needed to cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
- If the water is deep enough to conceal the road lines, it is too deep to drive safely!
Then, of course, there’s visibility, or, more precisely, absolutely zero visibility. When it’s truly pouring, it’s difficult to see the end of your hood, let alone the street lane markers. The less visibility there is, the slower you must drive in wet conditions. Better still, pull over until you can see your destination once more. When fog is forecast, avoid driving entirely. Allow lots of extra time to reach your destination if you must drive.
Rain, in certain circumstances, can generate road conditions as slick as ice! When you factor in high gusts, fog, and the possibility of hydroplaning, you’re probably better off remaining put until the storm passes.
What Is Hydroplaning And How Can It Be Prevented?
Hydroplaning is the equivalent of skidding on snow when driving in the rain. Both of these situations result in your tires losing touch with the road surface and you losing control of your car. What you need to know is as follows:
The issue arises as a result of a thin film of water forming between your tires and the road. Normally, the tread on your tires pushes the liquid away from the road surface, allowing your automobile to keep in touch with it. However, when there is an excessive amount of water, the pressure in front of your tires increases. This pressure subsequently results in the formation of a thin film of liquid between your wheels and the road. Suddenly, you’ve lost your grip and are skidding!
This is a frightening and dangerous situation for both you and the other motorists. Therefore,
what can you do to avoid it?
- Reduce your speed to allow the tread on your tires to dislodge the water. Hydroplaning occurs most frequently at speeds of 35 mph or greater.
- As previously stated, driving is particularly risky during light rain or the first few minute of rainfall because of the unstable water and oil mixture that results. This is also common time for hydroplaning, so try your best to avoid hitting the road until that window has passed.
- Sharp curves and slick roadways create an ideal environment for skidding. Turns shoul be as broad as feasible and as leisurely as possible.
- Avoid steering in the direction of the skid! Since your tires are not in contact with the road, efficient steering is impossible. Motorists who steer along with their skids may have further difficulties if their tires regain contact with the road unexpectedly.
- Avoid using cruise control on wet roads and disable it if it is activated when the storm begins. If you begin sliding while on cruise control, the automatic setting actually accelerates your speed.
If your vehicle hydroplanes, depress the brake pedal slowly until you feel your wheels re-engage
with the road. Maintain a straight line of sight and the steering wheel in the direction you wish to
12 Must-Know Tips For Driving On Wet Roads
While rain and fog significantly enhance your risk of getting involved in an accident, it is not driving in the rain or dense fog that causes so many problems. Rather than that, weather-related issues are primarily the result of drivers who are unprepared for changing road conditions.
Follow these 12 recommendations for safe rain driving and you’ll be prepared for any weather circumstances that may arise.
- Protect the exterior of your windows with a water repellent. This hydrophobic substance really repels rainfall. Reduced raindrops result in increased vision and reaction time.
- Turn on your defoggers to clear the moisture build-up on the car windows.
- Inspect your wiper blades for wear and tear and crank them all the way up if it’s raining heavily.
- If your windshield wipers are turned on, turn on your headlights as well. While you most likely have running lights, the headlights will be more visible to other vehicles.
- Avoid using your car’s cruise control.
- Avoid driving during the first few minutes of rainfall when the roads are the slickest.
- Slow down and drive slower than the posted speed limit if necessary, as tires lose traction on wet roadways. Because less touch means that additional stopping space is required, provide for a greater following distance between vehicles.
- If the rain becomes excessive, simply pull over for a time. Heavy rain rarely lasts long, and waiting it out is far safer than attempting to drive in bad sight and even worse traction.
- Focus on the road. This requires abstaining from distractions such as eating, drinking, listening to the radio, conversing with fellow passengers, or using your phone (even in handsfree mode). This will enable you to react more quickly to brake lights and increase your chances of driving safely in inclement weather.
- Avoid puddles and standing water, as you have no way of knowing how deep the water is or what lies beneath it.
- If at all possible, avoid steep hills. There is a possibility that the valleys between will be flooded.
- Never cross a brook that has been flooded by the rain. Even in shallow water, you can lose traction.
Bear in mind that rain might create conditions as slick as ice. Drive as though you are truly on ice and you can avoid some of the dangers associated with driving in the rain.
Do You Need Help?
Careful Towing Services and let us assist you in getting unstuck! Our licensed and certified professional drivers can provide you with any roadside help, winching, or towing assistance you may require to safely reach your destination. If you have any concerns or would want to get further safety recommendations for driving in the rain, we are always delighted to assist you!