Best Practices for Driving in the Rain

As much as we’d like it to be the case, driving isn’t always synonymous with great weather. That’s why it’s important to be prepared for whatever Mother Nature throws our way.

The following are a few useful tips for driving in the rain and tips for when it’s time to simply pull over.

Plan Ahead

If you must drive during a heavy downpour, factor in extra time for delays, detours and traffic.

Slow Down

Once the first raindrops hit your windshield, reduce your speed. Posted speed limits will not be helpful during a storm. If you’re on the highway that allows 65 mph on a beautiful day, be happy going half that in bad weather.

Stay Visible

Make sure your lights are on. In some states, you’re required to turn your lights on when using windshield wipers. But even if that’s not the case, it makes sense to do so. You’ll see other drivers and other drivers will see you. Both can be lifesavers.

More than a Puddle

Never drive through water if you’re unable to determine its depth. It’s always safer to go around or backtrack and avoid entirely. You never know what hazardous material lies beneath. If it looks deep, it probably is.

Wet Roads

When light rain mixes with oil residue on the road surface, it creates slippery conditions, and could cause a vehicle to hydroplane. Safemotorist.com says the first 10 minutes of a light rain can be the most dangerous. With heavy rains, a layer of water can cause tires to float on the surface and trigger steering difficulties or loss of control. Driving at a slower speed helps to alleviate the chance of hydroplaning.

Pull Over

Sometimes, the safest driving is not driving at all. Make sure you find a safe place to pull over on the road or at the nearest exist. Stay away from overhanging branches, power lines and settle in. Plus, you can safely and comfortably look forward to the impending rainbow once the rain subsides.

Do you have experience and tips for driving in bad weather? Share your stories and tips in the comments below.    

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