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10 Tips for Driving Safely in the Rain

10 Tips for Driving Safely in the Rain

Rain, rain, go away …

If only it were that easy. Driving in wet conditions is a common occurrence, and contrary to popular belief, it is much deadlier than driving on snowy streets and roads, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Records show that 73% of weather-related crashes occur on wet pavements and 46% occur during rainfall. Snow, sleet and slush are involved in about 44% of crashes.

While you can’t sing a nursery rhyme to get the rain to go away, you can follow these 10 tips to tackle rainy roads like an expert.

  1. Check your windshield wipers and replace them frequently

    While it’s natural to check them before a long trip, it’s equally important to keep them working properly even if you are just driving locally.
  2. Maintain good tire depth and inflation

    Good tires can be a lifesaver by providing a good grip on the road, which helps prevent hydroplaning.
  3. Apply a windshield repellent

    Regularly apply a repellent, such as Rain-X, to your windshield, windows and mirrors to help keep them clear during rainfall.
  4. Slow down on unfamiliar roads and before construction zones

    Rain means lower visibility, and the only good remedy is to slow down and be cautious.
  5. Slow down at night

    The combination of rain, darkness and lights reflecting off wet pavement decreases vision capabilities even further so it is vital that you slow down.
  6. Increase following distance

    If the vehicle ahead of you suddenly stops, the normal 3-second rule will likely not suffice. Try staying at least 5 seconds behind the next vehicle to allow enough slow-down time on wet, slick pavements.
  7. Watch out for debris on the road

    Heavy rains can wash mud, stones and other refuse onto the road while storms can drop branches or even down entire trees. Heavy rains can also wash out chunks of pavement, leaving deep holes. Be vigilant and slow down—or pull off the road—if you see signs of danger ahead.
  8. Be wary of water depth

    Heavy rain can cause water to rush down curbs. It can even lead to flash flooding. Beware of standing or flowing water, which can hide holes in the road, damage or disable your vehicle, or wash it away.
  9. Prepare for hydroplaning

    Hydroplaning can occur in as little as 1 1/2 inches of water. If this happens, stay calm and turn in the direction of the skid. Never try to force the tires in the opposite direction.
  10. Turn Your Lights On

    If your wipers are on, your lights should be, too. This will help you see what lies ahead and will help other drivers see your vehicle.

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