As we approach hurricane season, you might find yourself driving in heavy rain. The safest thing to do is to pull over and wait for the rain to pass. However, if you absolutely must keep driving, remember to keep these safety tips in mind. Turn your headlights on, but not your hazards. Drive slowly, and keep plenty of room in front of you. And finally, make sure that your car is in good driving shape. Hopefully, all of these things will keep you safer if you have to drive through a storm.
Driving in Heavy Rain Safely: Tips for Storm Season To Avoid Accidents
Headlights, Not Hazards
Driving in heavy rain usually means that visibility is low. Especially if you’re driving at nighttime. In a truly torrential downpour, it’s difficult to even see anything in front of you. You really should pull over if the rain is to that extent. However, if you absolutely must stay on the road, turn your headlights on. Often drivers turn on hazards but this is actually dangerous. It’s even illegal in some states. This is because hazards indicate that you’re stopped and need assistance, so could confuse other drivers on the road.
Obviously, driving in heavy rain means driving much more slowly. This is because your visibility might be low. If you’re approaching another car too fast and they’ve forgotten to turn their headlights on, they might be too hard to see from far away. If you’re going too fast, you won’t be able to stop in time and might collide with them. Your tires are also less likely to skid if you’re traveling slowly.
Keep a Safe Stopping Distance
Similarly to going more slowly, driving in heavy rain also means that you should keep a longer stopping distance. This is because your brakes won’t work as efficiently on really wet roads. In addition, it’s possible to hydroplane or skid. If you’re traveling too close to the car in front of you, even a minor skid could cause a collision. Give yourself plenty of space between you and the cars around you. Even at intersections, leave space when you’re stopped. That way, if you get rear-ended, you’d be less likely to be pushed into the car in front of you.
One final note on driving in heavy rain is to prepare ahead of time. Make sure that your tires
are in good working order. You should check them routinely and make sure that they don’t have any punctures or bare treads. Also, make sure that you use good quality tires and swap them out as advised. Good tires should help your car grip the road more easily in heavy rain. You also need to check your wipers periodically to make sure that they are working effectively to clean your windshield. You can even buy windshield products like Rain-X
that help repel water and keep your windshield clearer.
When driving in heavy rain, always make sure that you have your headlights on so that cars can see you clearly. Remember not to use your hazards for this unless you’ve stopped and needed help. Always drive very slowly in rain and pull over when needed. Keep plenty of space between you and the cars around you on the road. And finally, keep your car regularly maintained to make sure that your tires, wipers, and windshield are working effectively. The bottom line is that if the rain is making driving unsafe, you simply should pull over and let the storm pass. However, if you absolutely must keep driving, try to do it as safely as possible so you can reach your destination without an accident.