With spring comes rain and with the first rain of the year comes more car crashes. Rain has a way of catching us off guard; what starts as a light sprinkle can quickly become a hazard that can send cars sliding across the road. Therefore, every driver should know these five tips for driving in rain.
Rain typically means the sky is full of dark grey clouds, which can significantly reduce visibility, especially on winding roads. Whether it’s sprinkling or pouring, the first thing you should do is make sure your headlights are on. This will make it much easier for drivers to see you and could prevent a crash.
Use the Defog
Heavy rain can quickly fog up your windshield, especially in warmer temperatures. The defogger can help. When you start your car, turn the heat up, turn off air circulation, and then turn your fans to defrost. This can make a big difference in improving your visibility, which can help you identify potential hazards before they become a problem.
You should travel about 5 mph slower when driving on wet roads. This is because you need more time to brake and may need a different braking technique depending on your vehicle. If you have an older car, you should tap the brakes when driving on wet roads. If you slam the brakes, you could lose control and cause the car to drift or spinout.
If you have a newer car equipped with an anti-lock braking system (ABS), your brakes work a little differently. Resist slamming on the brakes, but don’t tap them either. Instead, apply consistent pressure, neither letting up or putting your foot down harder. You’ll know it’s working when you see the ABS light appear on your dashboard.
Be especially cautious when merging in front of a vehicle in the rain. If your merge too close or too slowly, the vehicle behind you will be forced to hit the brakes, which may cause them to hydroplane. Large vehicles, like buses and trucks, are at a higher risk of sliding as they require a greater distance to slow down safely.
Before attempting a merge in the rain, make sure you can see the entire vehicle in mirrors.
Control the Hydroplane
Even with careful driving, you may find yourself losing control of the vehicle, especially after the first rain of the year. If you’re not careful, you could get locked into a “fishtail” where your vehicle drifts between lanes as you struggle to regain control.
If you ever find yourself hydroplaning, you need to stay calm. The first thing you should do is exercise proper braking techniques to get your car down to a safe speed. At the same time, gradually move your wheel in the direction of the drift. This will help your wheels gain traction so you can pull out of the hydroplane and regain control of your vehicle.
If you or someone you love suffered severe injuries in a car crash, we can help. If you’d like to schedule an appointment with an experienced auto injury attorney from Dunk Law Firm, please don’t hesitate to call (800) 674-9339 or send us an email.