Rain creates slippery road conditions that can be challenging even for experienced drivers. In fact, according to statistics from the Federal Highway Administration, 70% of weather-related crashes happen on wet pavement. Here, as in many other areas, knowledge empowers. That’s why today we bring you six tips you should keep in mind when driving in wet conditions.
1. Make Sure Your Car Is Clean
The first step to staying safe even when the road is slippery is to drive a clean car. As we have mentioned previously, cleanliness is also a safety measure. If your windshield, mirrors, and windows are clean and free of cracks, you will have better visibility, which in turn will give you more time to react to road hazards. Also, check your windshield wipers frequently to ensure that they are in good condition.
For a lot of people, driving is basically a habit and they perform many actions automatically. While this may make some things easier, you should act more deliberately whenever you find yourself driving on a wet road. Pay attention to your surroundings, stay alert, slow down if necessary and leave plenty of room between you and the car in front.
3. Beware of Loss of Traction
When the streets are wet, there’s always the possibility of losing traction with the road. This phenomenon is technically known as “hydroplaning,” and as a result of it, a car stops responding to the steering wheel, which may have potentially devastating consequences. Hydroplaning is more likely to occur if your tires are worn, so make sure to change them as often as necessary. Experts suggest replacing your tires once they reach 4/32-inch grove depth. (As a reference, the groves of new tires have a depth of about 10/32 of an inch.)
4. Pay Close Attention When Changing Lanes
Merging collisions are an unfortunately common sight in wet conditions. Prevent this type of incident by always checking for blind spots before merging lanes. Again, stay alert and take your time; speed is not your priority when it rains. Adopt a defensive-driving mindset and always ensure that you have enough room to maneuver before proceeding.
5. Use Your Headlights
As we explained earlier, visibility is key to driving safely in wet conditions. Turning on your headlights helps other drivers notice your vehicle more easily, and gives everyone precious extra seconds to react and prevent a collision. As a matter of fact, in some states headlights are required any time the car’s windshield wipers are on.
6. Consider Taking a Safe Driving Course
Finally, inquire with your local DMV about driving courses that may provide you with advanced techniques to drive safely in wet conditions. Not only will you be safer, but you might save money too. In some cases, taking this type of course can lower your car insurance rates.
More Tips and Resources
Keep your ride always in top-notch condition with these posts that cover every aspect of care and maintenance of your car.
- 4 Basic Windshield Maintenance Tips
- How to clean your car rims
- 4 Tips to wax your car
- Use these ideas to avoid door dings
- Don’t ignore cracked windshields!
- How to wash your car by hand
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