The warm season is almost over, now we have to contend with the wet season and all its muddy and flood-prone glory. In the face of heavy rain, driving conditions can turn hazardous in an instant. Slippery roads, poor visibility and other problems induced by rain can contribute to a serious road accident. The good news is these accidents can be avoided with a little preparation and being a defensive driver at all times while you’re on the road.
Here are six tips to keep in mind when driving in the rain.
1. Replace old and worn tires
Tires need to have plenty of tread depth to properly push away standing water between your tire and the road. If your tires are overly worn, it’s time to think about replacing them.
2. Stick to the recommended tire pressure
Tire pressure that exceed or fall short of recommendation can lead to reduced traction. Keep tabs on your tire pressure once or twice a month to ensure proper inflation.
3. See and be seen
Check your wiper blades and make sure they are in good working condition. Replace them as necessary. Check your exterior lights as well. When you’re out on the road in the rain, turn on your lights at all times so other vehicles can see you. (EDITOR’S NOTE: And please, don’t turn on your hazard lights unless it’s an absolute emergency.) If your windows start to fog up, boost the air conditioner to get rid of the haziness.
4. Keep distance
Wet roads extend your car’s braking distance, so leave extra room between you and the car in front in case you need to brake suddenly.
5. Drive slowly
Slowing down on wet roads is critical. When driving at high speeds on a wet road, you’ll have less grip, your braking distance will increase, and you’ll find it more difficult to control your vehicle while braking.
6. Pull over
If the rain gets too heavy that you can no longer see beyond your hood, pull off to the side of the road, turn your hazard lights on, and let the storm pass before driving again.