It can happen any time of the year, day or night. You are driving along when a few rain drops quickly develops into a heavy downpour, or you may definitely have to drive and it is already raining heavily.
Both of these situations, require specific skills that will help you to drive safely in heavy rain.
Hydroplaning occurs when a vehicle’s tires begin to lose contact with wet road surfaces. This loss of contact can greatly reduce handling and cause you to completely lose control of your vehicle. Hydroplaning can be a risk during heavy rains as well as lighter precipitation.
The risk of hydroplaning can be reduced by slowing down while driving in the rain and avoiding sudden stops or turns when driving under these conditions. You should also ensure your tires are in good condition and properly inflated.
Watch Out for Puddles
Avoid driving through puddles if you can. If you cannot avoid going through puddles, drive safely and slow down. Do not brake suddenly or turn the steering wheel sharply. If you see moving water or larger bodies of standing water, do not drive in such areas. Moving water may wash your vehicle away and you may not be able to determine the depth of standing water.
A Note About Cruise Control
If you want to drive safely during heavy rains, do not use cruise control. When the cruise control is engaged, it will try to keep the vehicle traveling at the pre-set speed. During this process, the vehicle may accelerate too quickly on wet surfaces. Such actions could lead to hydroplaning and the subsequent loss of vehicle control.
Hands on the Wheel
Any article about how to drive safely will include information about avoiding distractions. This advice is especially true while driving in heavy rain.
You should keep both hands on the steering wheel. Turn off your cell phone and radio. Keep your focus on the road ahead of you. As you are drive safely, check your rear-view and side mirrors to become aware of any sort of potential hazards caused by the rain storm.
Wipers On, Lights On
Having your lights on while driving in the rain can help increase safety on the road. Many states now require lights to be on anytime a vehicle’s wipers are being used. This law must be followed even during daylight hours.
Having your lights on while driving in the rain serves two purposes. The lights will help you see better and will make your vehicle more visible to other drivers.
Keep Your Distance
Maintaining a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you is one of the simplest rules to follow if you want to drive safely. This rule is especially true during rainy weather. It is advisable to keep 5 car lengths behind the vehicle in front of you.
Follow this advice to help you drive safely in any sort of weather conditions.