10 Things Everybody Ought to Know About Driving in the Rain
Driving in stormy, rainy, windy weather is never fun. It can be scary when rain is coming down at a rate faster than your wipers can handle and the car in front of you is barely visible. Hydroplaning is a possibility too, as puddles form and rain mixes with oil on the road creating slippery conditions.
These factors help explain why most weather-related crashes occur on wet pavement or during rainfall. In fact, each year almost 4,800 people are killed and 384,000 are injured as a result of car crashes on wet pavement. When driving in the rain, you want to use extra caution. Here are some tips to follow if you find yourself venturing out in the storm.
10 Tips for Driving in the Rain:
1. Use your headlights. In many states (including Pennsylvania and New Jersey), it is a law to have your headlights on while your wipers are on – even if it’s 1:00 in the afternoon. Headlights help you see better, but more importantly, they help other drivers see your car. Remember – wipers on, headlights on!
2. Maintain a safe following distance. Normally, you would drive three seconds behind the car in front of you. But this should be increased in bad weather. It’s especially important to increase your following distance when driving behind trucks and buses. The spray created by their large tires makes it harder for you to see the road.
3. Don’t speed. The faster you go, the harder it is for your tires to maintain traction with the road. By driving slower, you’re giving your tires more time to scatter the water on the road. This helps to avoid hydroplaning.
4. Turn off cruise control. Cruise control will cause the car to accelerate if you hit a puddle or begin to hydroplane, creating a dangerous situation.
5. If you begin to hydroplane, remain calm and do not make any sudden movements. Do not jerk your steering wheel, accelerate hard, or slam on your breaks. Instead, you should slowly let off the gas and steer the car straight or in the direction of the skid until you regain contact with the road.
6. Avoid flooded roads. If you see a large puddle and are unsure of the depth of the water, don’t drive through it. You risk getting stuck or ruining your car.
7. Don’t drive through moving water. It may not look like a strong current, but your car could be swept off the road.
8. Be prepared for wind. Some rainstorms bring heavy wind. If you feel your car move after a big wind gust, hold onto the steering wheel and don’t panic. Also, be aware of large trucks and buses on the road as they are more susceptible to high winds due to their larger surface area.
9. Watch for debris in the road. This can include objects such as fallen trees or branches.
10. If it’s raining so hard that you can’t see the road or the car in front of you, pull over if it is safe to do so and wait it out.
Philadelphia Auto Accident Lawyers
Kane and Silverman encourages drivers to be careful when driving in rain, hurricanes, and bad storms. If we all use caution and follow these tips, we can reduce the number of injuries and fatalities caused by wet-weather crashes. However, in the unfortunate event that you or a loved one falls victim to a car crash in the rain, on wet pavement, or due to hydroplaning, the Philadelphia auto accident lawyers at Kane & Silverman can help. Contact us today at 215-232-1000 for a free evaluation of your claim.