How to Drive in the Rain

On Friday, December 17, I was told that Los Angeles County averaged 1 car accident per minute. I didn’t really believe this until about 20 seconds later, when I saw another car accident on the freeway. I figured it would then be a good idea to post our first blog on How to Drive in the Rain:

Roads are most dangerous during new rainfall. Grease and engine oil build up on the road over time, and when mixed with water, roads will become increasingly slippery. The first couple of hours of new rainfall can be the most dangerous for drivers.

Don’t drive faster than it is safe! You should drive under the speed limit, considering risk is increasingly elevated with speed on wet roads. Most other vehicles drive at a slower pace, which is why you should allow for longer travel time.

Easy on the brake. Prepare to brake earlier and with less force. This informs the driver behind you that you are slowing down, and it helps prevent the risk of losing control of the vehicle.

Stay toward the middle of the road. Most roads in the United States are crowned in the middle, and water runs off to the sides. Staying toward the middle of the road will help prevent your vehicle from hitting deep standing puddles.

Cruise control is a no-go. If you were to ever hydroplane, there is a chance your vehicle will accelerate if you are in cruise control. In addition, on average, most drivers in cruise control are less attentive on the road.

Headlights: On. It helps other cars/motorists see you, and it helps you see the road. Don’t use your high beams, they will obscure your view. If you have fog lights, turn them on. They will help you see the road, and it will make your vehicle easier to see.

Pull over if you cannot see the road or car in front of you.

Give every vehicle extra distance. Leave yourself more room for error, in case something was to happen to your vehicle or the one in front of you.

Hydroplaning can provide a bit of a scare. Stay calm, and do not brake suddenly or turn the wheel. Take your foot off the gas slowly and wait for your vehicle to regain traction. If you need to brake, tap your brake, but if you have antilock brakes, you can then push your foot down.

If you hit a water puddle, tap your brakes in order to clear some water out of your rotors.

Keep an eye out for pedestrians. Pedestrians are more distracted while walking in the rain, which means that you should pay more attention to them around you. Rain obscures their sound perception, and they often become distracted by engaging with their umbrella.

We all have to drive in the rain at some point in our lives, whether we like it or not. Taking the proper precautions above will help keep you from standing on the side of the road waiting for AAA.

Here are some extra tips provided by the CHP Website.

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