Rain affects the road, your vehicle and your vision. When the roads are wet, the chances of being involved in an auto accident are far more likely. Problems from visibility to traction to traffic contribute to hazardous conditions especially in stormy conditions.
With the recent rains that have fallen throughout the U.S, I thought I would take this opportunity to offer some safe driving tips for rainy weather.
- First and foremost: slow down! It takes longer to stop or adjust in wet weather. When coming to a stop, begin slowing down sooner and apply gentle brake pressure.
- Defog your windows. Rain will quickly cause your windshield to fog up. Switch on both front and rear defrosters and make sure the air conditioning is turned on.
- Tires have fewer grips on wet roads, so it takes a longer distance to stop. Avoid slamming on brakes.
- After driving through a puddle, proceed slowly and gently apply the brakes to generate enough heat to dry out the brakes.
- Your visibility is reduced in rain, so increase your following distance. Always allow extra time to reach your destination when rain is in the area.
- Turn on your headlights even in a light rain. Not only do they help you see the road, but they’ll help other drivers see you.
- Don’t follow large trucks or busses too closely. The spray created by their large tires reduces your vision. Take extra precaution when passing them as well.
- Prevent skids by driving slowly and carefully, especially on a curve. Brake before entering the curve. If your car begins to skid, ease off the gas, and carefully steer into the skid – the direction you want your vehicle to go. If your car has anti-lock brakes, brake firmly; if not, avoid braking until you recover from the skid.
- Never drive through flooded areas or moving water. If you can’t see the ground through it; your car could be swept off the road. Even when driving a large vehicle, like a truck or SUV, fast-moving water can easily overcome it.
- If you begin to hydroplane, do not brake or turn suddenly. Such maneuvers can throw you into a slide and cause a accident. Ease off the gas and steer straight ahead until your steering returns to normal.
Regular maintenance checks:
- Clean your windshields regularly –inside and out.
- Check tires on a regular basis. Bald tires significantly reduce traction on wet roadways.
- Check that headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals are working properly.
- Replace wipers regularly, at least once a year. If they streak or smear replace them immediately. Wiper blades in bad condition don’t adequately clear water from the windshield and may distort visibility.
Driving in inclement weather is always dangerous, but an extra ounce of prevention will help keep your and those around you safe when the rains come.
Mark Bello has thirty-six years experience as a trial lawyer and fourteen years as an underwriter and situational analyst in the lawsuit funding industry. He is the owner and founder of Lawsuit Financial Corporation which helps provide cash flow solutions and consulting when necessities of life litigation funding is needed by a plaintiff involved in pending, personal injury, litigation. Bello is a Justice Pac member of the American Association for Justice, Sustaining and Justice Pac member of the Michigan Association for Justice, Member of Public Justice, Public Citizen, the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Michigan and the Injury Board.
Attorney, certified civil mediator, and award-winning author of the Zachary Blake Betrayal Series. Mark Bello is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, a sustaining member of the Michigan Association for Justice, and a member of the American Association for Justice.