Tips for Driving Safely in the Rain

Tips for Driving Safely in the Rain

by / Friday, 01 May 2020 / Published in Tips
Person driving through rain with windshield wipers on

Spring is officially here and as we start getting to enjoy some warmer weather and more daylight, it’s easy to think that there are fewer weather-related road hazards to worry about as you drive. But just because we’re less likely to be dealing with ice and snow at this point in the year, that doesn’t necessarily mean the roads are getting safer.

 

Michigan typically gets quite a bit of rain during the spring months and when roads are wet, the more likely it becomes that car accidents will happen. Every year, thousands of car accidents occur that involve wet pavement as a factor in the crash. In cases of heavy rain, it is generally best to avoid driving unless it is absolutely necessary. But if it isn’t raining hard enough to stay home, keep these tips in mind to stay safe.

Car Maintenance

If the tires on your car are starting to look worn, it’s very important to get them replaced as soon as possible. When roads are slippery, whether it’s from ice, snow, or rain, the treads on your tires play a vital role in helping you stay safe by improving traction with the surface of the road. Worn tires will make you more likely to experience hydroplaning, which occurs when tires lose their grip with the surface of the road because of water on the road.

Aside from your tires, you’ll also want to make sure your windshield wiper blades are in good condition. If your wipers aren’t doing an effective job of clearing your windshield, it’s a good time to switch them out for a new pair of blades.

Watch Your Speed

Speed is another factor that can lead to hydroplaning. You don’t even have to be driving particularly fast for hydroplaning to occur — it can happen at speeds of just 35 MPH. Even though it’s important to closely monitor your speed, rainy weather is not a good time to rely on your cruise control to help you do so. If your car starts hydroplaning while cruise control is in use, it could cause you to lose control of your car.

Use Your Headlights

In many cases, cars have automatic headlights that will come on when visibility drops, whether it’s from the sun setting or because of cloudy conditions. But if your car doesn’t have automatic headlights or you prefer not to use that setting, remember to manually turn your headlights on rainy days to help improve your visibility and make it easier for other drivers on the road to see you. Just remember to use your standard headlights, not your high beams.

Increase Your Following Distance

When roads are slippery, it may take you longer than usual for your car to stop so make sure you leave a little extra distance between yourself and the next car ahead of you on the road. You never know when the car in front of you might need to stop suddenly because of something ahead of them.

Delay Your Trip

If it starts raining shortly before you were set to leave, try to delay your departure if possible. Even just waiting a few minutes can help. Many road safety experts believe that the first 10 minutes of a light rain can be the most dangerous because that’s when the rain mixes with oil residue left behind on the road, making the surface of the road more slippery.

Even if you do everything you can to be a safe, responsible driver, you could still end up being the victim of a car accident if another driver isn’t as careful. Far too often, car accidents cause serious injuries that can have lifelong effects. If you’ve been injured in a car accident, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a car accident lawyer. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to get help from a lawyer experienced in Michigan car accident law. Contact us today for help with your case.

Image: iStock / ElcovaLana

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