Did you know that driving in the rain has resulted in over a million deaths every year?
During this season, the roads are wet and become slippery, thus the need to be extra cautious when driving on these roads.
As much as we try to avoid driving during the rainy season, some businesses and emergencies need to be taken care of, and not even the rain can stop that.
You don’t need to panic; go through the following tips, and you will be prepared to drive when it rains.
If you are about to enroll in your driving classes, some of these tips will come as questions in your permit test.
When Driving in the Rain, You Must:
1. Take Caution When Approaching Puddles
The puddles on the road can be deeper than you think. Avoiding them by changing your lane is the best idea.
However, in a one-way road or a case where you can’t change your lane, you must approach the puddle cautiously.
The car brakes become wet when you drive through large puddles, which reduces their efficiency.
When you realize your brakes are wet, apply them lightly until you feel they are functioning normally.
Some puddles hide potholes; once you hit them, your car may be damaged.
2. Understand Hydroplaning
Speeding when it is raining can cause hydroplaning: this is a situation where you are riding on the water surface like the water skis because of lost contact between the surface and the wheels.
The feeling can be scary, and you may wonder what to do in such a situation, don’t panic; just let go of the acceleration pedal slowly.
Remember that you shouldn’t hit the brakes suddenly; there are chances of losing control and skidding.
The best control for hydroplaning is to avoid driving at high speed.
3. Turn On the Headlights
When driving in the rain, you must turn on the headlights. They help you see the cars ahead of you and help the other drivers to see you.
The use of headlights is included in the state laws where you must use them when you can’t see the road clearly and, in some cases, when using the wipers.
Did I mention that you shouldn’t use high beam headlights? Keep the lights at a low beam to reduce the reflection that may interfere with your vision on the road.
Never ignore the importance of headlights, even when it’s misting.
4. Slow Down
Apart from observing the speed limits for road conditions, you might need to move more slowly when it rains.
The reaction time for your car reduces during the rainy season making the road more dangerous, especially at high speed.
When driving in rain you must watch out when approaching overpasses and bridges; they tend to freeze earlier than the other road parts.
And another thing, due to the slow movement, remember to adjust your schedule accordingly to avoid messing it up.
5. Use the Windshield Wipers
Visibility of the conditions of the road ahead is an essential aspect of driving.
There is blurred vision whenever the windshield is rained on; therefore, you need your windshield wipers.
Imagine that you are on the road, and it starts raining suddenly, and you try to use your wipers only to find out they are not working.
It’s such a disappointment. Ensure that you counter check/, the wipers before leaving the house, especially during the rainy season.
The best part is the windshield wipers are adjustable and work well for both misting and heavy downpours.
If the windshield wiper doesn’t function properly, consider changing it.
6. Keep the Car in Good Shape
Am sure you are not ready for a car breakdown during the rainy season, right? Being stuck on the road at this point can be overwhelming.
Consider replacing tires with no treads; they have very low traction during the rainy season.
Also, check the other parts of the car and make sure they are functioning well.
7. Don’t Use Cruise Control
During the rainy season, you don’t need cruise control.
It doesn’t allow you to adjust quickly to the changes in the weather conditions, where sometimes you are required to move at a light speed.
Additionally, the sensors are affected when the cruise control system is filled with moisture, and they tend to be less effective.
The traction effect is reduced with cruise control as compared to when using the accelerator.
8. Avoid Flooded Roads
If you approach a flooded road, it would be wise to turn your car and look for an alternative way to your destination.
Do you know why you must change your route?
To begin with, large amounts of moving water can carry away your car, and you will need an extra penny to call the emergency services for help.
That’s not all; the water may spoil the engine, which is the heart of your car. Once it touches the spark plugs, you start experiencing mechanical problems.
9. Use a Well-Ventilated Car
With a well-ventilated car, the humidity that comes with rain will be taken care of, reducing all the mist formed in the car.
It turns out that most cars have a ventilation system that helps reduce the fog formed on your windshield and the windows.
Sometimes the fog is too much, and the only option left is pulling over to fix your windows for a clear vision.
10. Turn Off the Emergency Flashers
Emergency flashers are misinterpreted, and some people use them during heavy rain seasons. As a new driver, don’t fall into the temptation of using them in such a case.
Note that using emergency flashers when you encounter heavy rain is illegal in New York and some other states unless you are instructed to use them.
Use the flashers for their rightful purpose; that is when you have stopped in case of an emergency, as most drivers don’t expect hazards from a moving car.
The above tips will significantly ensure a smooth drive during heavy rains, apart from observing the traffic rules. If it is not necessary to get to the road, postpone your journey until better weather conditions. Make sure that you avoid any distractions on the way; the rain itself is enough distraction.