Did you know that almost half of all accidents that occur in the U.S. are due to the rain? The U.S. Department of Transportation states that over 700,000 accidents per year are caused by the rain, and the number is continually going up due to more and more drivers being on the road each and every year! As all of us will experience rain in our driving careers more times than we’d like, it’s important to know a few things that will decrease your chances at getting into a rain-related accident!
The first and best thing you can do is to slow down! When you are going at faster speeds in the rain, your tires are not able to grip onto the road and it will cause you to lose control! The best way to visualize how to safely drive in the rain: Imagine yourself driving with a large triple layer wedding cake in your backseat, and you are taking it to your sister’s wedding—you wouldn’t want to be the one to say you ruined her cake, thus you will drive slower and safer than normal! So when it is raining, just drive with same care for your life and slow down in the rain!
The next tip is something that a lot of drivers forget about in the rain: Increase the distance you follow other cars with! Normally in dry weather you want to be 2-3 car lengths behind the driver in front of you, but when it’s raining, and especially if you are on a highway—make that gap bigger so you can give yourself more room to brake! Hydroplaning is the main cause of wrecks in the rain, and if you slam on the brakes due to being too close to another driver you might end up in an accident! Remember that accidents on the road can happen in a blink of an eye—just give yourself more distance to avoid it!
This next tip is a very useful one: Do not use cruise control in the rain! The cruise control computer on most cars will not be able to tell if it is raining and might cause your car to accelerate when caught in a hydroplane—which is the last thing you want to happen! If you find yourself in a hydroplane movement, just let off the gas and pump the brakes until you gain back control!
The bottom line is to just exercise caution when it is raining, and if at all possible, try to avoid driving in the rain if you can! Getting into an accident just is not worth it!