What to Know Before Driving in the Rain

January 24, 2022 9:52 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Part of being a responsible and safe car or truck driver is knowing how to drive in all sorts of conditions. While snow is rare in warm climates, that doesn’t mean rough conditions are impossible, so you should still know how to navigate in them.

Knowing how to drive in the rain is a critical skill. Slick roads and impeded visibility can spell disaster for inexperienced or careless drivers.

Read on for some rain driving tips to keep in mind for the next time you get behind the wheel:

  • Slow down: Speed is the number one thing that increases risk anytime you’re on the road. This is doubly true when you add rain to the equation. Accept that you might potentially be a bit late if you have to, but no matter what you do, do not speed. In fact, speed limits are usually set for driving under ideal conditions, so drive even more slowly than signage suggests.
  • Turn on your lights: This is actually a good idea no matter what conditions you drive in. Studies show cars with headlights on are significantly less likely to be in accidents, thanks to increased visibility. Furthermore, using lights in the rain is the law in many states. Another good rain driving tip to remember: If your wipers are turned on, your headlights should be too.
  • Keep your distance: Again, you should not be in a hurry in bad driving conditions. Part of this reasoning is that driving more slowly leaves plenty of space between you and the car in front of you. If they hit the brakes, turn or even skid out, you will have plenty of time to react. Rain makes these reactions far more challenging, so the more space you have, the better you’ll be able to effectively control your car.
  • Avoid standing water: Driving through puddles can seem like harmless fun, especially for people just learning how to drive in the rain; however, the opposite is unfortunately true, especially at medium to high speeds. Moving through standing water makes you susceptible to hydroplaning, i.e., you lose control of the car and fly across the surface of the puddle like a water-skier might. It can be very difficult to regain control, so avoid this altogether by going around puddles.
  • Ventilate the car: The increased humidity brought on by rain can wreak havoc on visibility. Make sure that your car’s ventilation settings are properly set so that they’re clearing the windshield of any fog. You might also need to crack a window to gain more ventilation. Also, don’t be shy about pulling over to let your windows clear—the best rain driving tip we can offer is that safety always comes first.

Driving on wet roads can be a challenge, but it’s not an insurmountable one. Basically, what you need to know before driving in the rain is that slowing down and taking more precautions than normal are your best bets. Our team at Tom’s Body & Paint, Inc. considers ourselves car people, so stop by if you’d like to chat more about rain driving tips or if you need anything from collision repair to RV service.

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