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4 tips for driving safely in the rain

Driving in the rain gets some motorists on edge while others find it to be no big deal. The fact is, rain causes more fatal car crashes than any other weather hazard. While you do not necessarily have to avoid driving in the rain altogether, there are certain tips and techniques you should keep in mind the next time you drive in wet conditions.

1. Prepare your car

Preventing an accident in wet conditions starts before you are on the road. Perform the following checks before driving in the rain:

  • Ensure your tires are in good condition by checking tread and pressure.
  • Test headlights, brake lights, taillights and turn signals.
  • Check that windshield wipers do not leave streaks or fail to clear the glass.

If it rains several days in a row, these tests may seem redundant, but it is crucial to be safe in dangerous driving conditions.

2. Keep it slow

Precipitation causes your tires to lose traction, and wet roads are especially slippery immediately following a downpour. Because your tires are meant to grip pavement and not slide on it, be on the safe side by driving a little slower. Avoid speeding by all means, but consider reducing your speed by a third when it is raining. This will reduce your chance of hydroplaning as well.

3. Leave room

Allow adequate stopping distance between you and any vehicles in front of you. Increase your distance and begin braking for turns, intersections and traffic lights earlier than you normally would. Try to avoid being surrounded by cars in both lanes next to you. Having space to the side helps you to avoid crashing if the car ahead stops suddenly.

4. Avoid cruise control

As ironic as it may be, cruise control can actually cause loss of control in rainy weather. If you have developed a habit of using cruise control in dry conditions, resist the temptation in wet conditions. While you might assume it will help you drive at a steady speed, it may actually cause you to go faster and lose control if you begin hydroplaning. You may need to quickly react and lift off the gas pedal to regain traction. Avoid losing control by leaving cruise control for clearer conditions.

Driving in the rain can be done safely when you take necessary precautions. Ensuring all functions of your car are in working condition and practicing defensive driving techniques will help you weather the storm. If you have suffered injuries from a car accident in wet conditions, seek advice and representation from a personal injury attorney.

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