How to drive safely in the rain
In a perfect world driving conditions would always be ideal. But in the real world, that just not the case. While we don’t have to contend with snow for the foreseeable future, rain can make driving conditions hazardous too.
Of course, waiting out hazardous driving conditions is the safest policy, but not always practical and can’t always be avoided. Even a light drizzle can make road surfaces slick and make driving – and stopping – tricky.
Before you hit the road in rainy conditions, consider these tips:
Replace your windshield wipers if they leave streaks. Windshield wipers do their job well when they’re in good shape and properly fitted. Every make and model of vehicle has a recommended windshield wiper size for proper functioning. A damaged wiper blade or incorrectly installed wipers won’t keep your windshield clear and will reduce your visibility.
Check your tires. Heavy rain, large puddles, and slippery roads can combine to test the limits of even the best tires. You can increase your chances of arriving safely by regularly checking that your tires are in good shape. Worn tires (or worse, bald tires) don’t channel water effectively, and that means less traction and less control of your vehicle.
Keep a clear view of the road. Items hanging in your front windshield, especially ones that move, can cause blind spots and distractions. This is true anytime you’re driving, but it’s even more of an issue when your visibility is already reduced by rain, snow, or fog.
Maintain your vehicle. The last thing you want is to break down on the side of a road or highway in the pouring rain. Along with the items listed above, make sure your engine, battery, and other “under the hood” necessities are in good shape by keeping up with your vehicle’s regular maintenance schedule.
Know when to stay home. If there’s a torrential downpour outside and you can see that water is flooding the streets outside your home, cancel or reschedule your plans. Not only is driving through flooded streets dangerous, but it can also damage your vehicle. If you’re in a potential flooding situation, take some steps to protect your car from flood damage.
Even if you’ve followed every safety precaution possible for driving in the rain, you may still find yourself in an accident. That’s what insurance is for. Make sure you and your passengers are safe, try to stay calm, and collect the information you need to make a car insurance claim.