Driving safe in the rain: What you should know

Safety First - The Cooper Firm

Driving safe in the rain: What you should know

Most drivers do not taking driving in the rain as seriously as they should, but wet-weather can cause serious car crashes resulting in injuries or death.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are nearly 707,00 car crashes due to rain, resulting in around 3,300 deaths and over 330,000 injuries. This is significantly more than sleet and snow in 39 states. Drivers should take extra precautions when the roads are wet to protect their lives and the lives of others.  Here are a few tips for driving safe in the rain:

  • Slow down! It takes significantly longer to stop during wet weather. Water tends to spread and break up any oils and lubricants on the road making it slippery. This can also cause you to slide if you are not maintaining a slow speed.
  • Try to stay in towards the middle lanes. Water tends to pool more on the outside lanes.
  • Don’t follow too closely. You should give drivers in front of you even more distance than you normally would due to the weather.
  • Keep a greater distance between your vehicle and larger vehicles. These vehicles can often create spray that can hinder your vision. Be extra cautious when passing these vehicles, if you must.
  • Don’t have any distractions when driving in wet conditions. Cars around you may not be driving as safe and you may have to practice distracted driving more than what you are used to when driving. Do not use cell phones and do not eat or drink while driving in the rain.
  • Try to avoid using your brakes, and especially avoid using them with great force. Adjust speed by taking your foot off the accelerator. Braking can cause hydroplaning.
  • Use your lights even when it is sprinkling, but do not use brights. If it is foggy or gloomy brights can cause a glare to other drivers. Having your lights on will help other drivers to see you better.
  • Always make sure that your wipers are in good condition whether it is raining or not. Having clear vision when driving in wet conditions is crucial to safety.
  • Never drive through moving water. Your car can be swept off the road.
  • If you are tired or it is dark and you have trouble seeing, do not drive or pull off the road until the rain subsides or someone can pick you up. You could cause more damage by trying to tough it out and get to your destination.
  • Try to drive in the tracks of the vehicle in front of you. There is less water in their path for you to slide.
  • If you start to hydroplane, do not turn the wheel or brake abruptly. This can cause you to spin out even more. Take your foot off the accelerator and keep the wheel as straight as possible until your car gains control and friction with the road.
  • Do not use cruise control when driving on wet surfaces. It can accelerate in bodies of water causing you to spin out.
  • Always use two hands on the steering wheel. Using two hands gives you better control of the vehicle and maximizes your attentiveness.
  • Start to defrost/defog your windows as quickly as possible to ensure you have clear vision when driving.

These are just a few good tips for driving during we weather. Always maintain extra caution. If you or someone you know has been injured due to a car crash, contact our law offices today for a free consultation.

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