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Tips for Driving in the Rain & Minimizing Car Accidents

You have likely heard the familiar saying, ‘rain, rain, go away, come again another day’. Well the reality is, that rain is a common element of springtime.

While it plays a crucial part in maintaining our environment, it can also wreak havoc on the roads. In fact, rain is a leading cause of hundreds of auto accidents each year. This is why it is highly important for drivers to be aware of how to drive safely in these types of weather conditions. 

First, here are the specific ways that rain can lead to unsafe driving conditions.

Expect slippier roads

Roads can become the most slippery at the beginning of a rain storm. When the road starts to get wet, oil and other engine fluids left on roads will rise and create a very greasy surface. This can lead to an accident if you happen to be driving too fast and are unable to stop in time.

Poor visibility

Rain storms can range from light to extremely heavy and the rain alone can lead to poor visibility while driving. Add fog into the mix, and drivers lose the ability to see the road even further. Fog can pose a challenge during rain storms, particularly when driving on roads without street lights.

Driving too fast on a poorly lit street and not remaining focused could likely lead to an accident. If you can’t stay off of the roads during these types of weather conditions, then exercising caution is extremely important.

Now that you have been reminded of some of the weather conditions you may encounter this spring – here are some helpful hints to ensure your own safety as well as the safety of others.

4 simple tips to help minimize car accidents in wet conditions

1. Slow Down

While driving too slow can lead to accidents, one of the leading causes of accidents (in any weather condition) is speed. With the added challenge of rain and fog, your reaction time and your ability to brake to avoid/cause an accident may be hindered. In normal road conditions, perhaps you could stop just in time. However, due to slippery roads and issues of visibility; you may not be able to stop your car from sliding into another vehicle.

2. Keep Your Eyes on the Vehicle in Front & Leave More Space

Often times, braking too suddenly may cause your vehicle to skid. You may be forced to slam on your brakes if you are following too closely behind to the vehicle in front of you. In the instance you do begin to skid, you should try to remain calm and not turn the wheel too quickly.

Turning the wheel too quickly could increase the degree of skidding and lead to a more dangerous situation. Instead continue steering straight until you feel the car gaining more traction, then reduce your speed and steer into a safer position.

This method of driving can also help you in the event your vehicle starts to hydroplane, when all 4 wheels lift up. By remaining at a safer distance behind the car in front, you have the ability to brake at a slower place and can avoid skidding or hydroplaning.

3. Check Your Wipers

Making sure all parts of your vehicle are operating properly is obviously very important at all times. During wet weather it is especially important to ensure that your wipers are up to snuff. Prior to getting on the road, you should check the efficiency of your wipers by performing a quick visual test.

You can also spray some washer fluid to see if they are working properly or if they leave any streaks. Rain has been known to occur quite quickly – and the volume can also increase with little warning. The use of windshield wipers – both front and back – can make a huge difference when driving in heavy rain.

4. Make Yourself Visible

When driving during rain and fog, you not only want to be able to see your surroundings, but remain visible to other vehicles. Even if you do not require the use of your headlights, having them on can help both drivers and pedestrians to see you better. If it is fog you are dealing with, having your low beams on will make it easier for you to see the road ahead and allow other drivers on the road to see you in order to avoid an accident.

While these tips may seem like common sense to many, it is always a good idea for drivers to keep them in mind. While we are unlikely to let a little rain get in the way of our driving plans, sometimes the weather and the roads can present certain dangers we need to be aware of at all times.

With showers making their way into our lives again this year – we should try and do everything we can to keep everyone safe and sound while on the roads.

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