Driving Safely in the Rain

Summer is just about upon us, and for some they continue to be blessed with everlasting sunshine and minimal precipitation. For the rest of us, though, the rain can keep coming. Rainy weather has an adverse effect on driving conditions, and so it’s important we are all aware of key strategies and tips we can use when facing the great wet outdoors. Let’s take a look.

First, you have to slow down. A wet road is a slick road, and that means longer braking distances, even for the most experienced and fast-reacting drivers out there. Lower your speed by at least 10mph on average (5mph in low-speed zones) to avoid these risks. When rain is heavy, it also impacts visibility, so put on your lights, slow down and keep your eyes open for hazards.

Second, if you’ve seen the latest forecast and you know you’re likely going to have a long journey in the rain, then you should do some basic maintenance checks on your car. You’ll need optimal tire pressure and fully working windshield wipers for a start. Check your cleaning fluid levels as well, as spray from trucks in front of you might muddy up your view. The rain itself might clear some, but it can still leave stains on the windshield which you’ll want to get clean.

Third, consider turning off your cruise control. It works well in normal conditions and is a handy companion on long journey down the highway. In the rain, however, it can lead to unwanted acceleration on the slicker roads, and that is something you definitely don’t want.

Finally, take whatever your normal rules are for road safety and increase their strictness. If you normally leave a single car-length of distance between you and the car in front, then double it to two car lengths. If you usually drive 5mph under the limit, then drive at least 10mph under the limit. If you give yourself 20 minutes for the usual journey, then increase it to 35. You get the idea.

Rain means change. Adapt yourself to the changing weather conditions and stay safe on the road. Don’t let the weather rain on your parade!

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