Every time you are driving, it is critical to take wet weather seriously because it can be dangerous and scary. You can increase your safety when driving on a rainy day by adhering to a few traffic rules and using a few tricks. It is critical to ensure that you have clear visibility while driving and that your car is ready. It is recommended to observe traffic rules and add a few more tricks to avoid skidding, sliding, or colliding with other vehicles.
The Car should Be Clean and Maintained
Visibility contributes a lot to safe driving. When it rains, visibility gets highly jeopardized, especially when driving. It is paramount to improve your visibility by removing grime, fingerprints, smoke, mud, dust, and dirt, among others, off the outside and inside of the car windows. When there is fog, the air conditioner’s vent should be turned on and aimed at the windows. The rear defroster can also be turned on, and the windows opened to upsurge air circulation in the car.
Maintain the Lights
Every car should have its lights regularly checked by a mechanic to make sure that they are appropriately adjusted. It ensures that the headlights are always pointing in the correct direction to avoid blinding other drivers and increase your visibility. Regular checking also ensures that all lights are working. Replacement of dead lights should also be done immediately, including the running lights, tail lights, turn signals, brake lights, and headlights. Make sure that your car light covers are always clean to avoid jeopardizing visibility due to dirt and dust.
Maintain Your Tires
Driving is safer when car tires are maintained. The threads on the tires provide the car with maximum traction. Otherwise, threadbare tires should be avoided, especially when it is rainy because lack of traction leads to hydroplaning, sliding or skidding. The threads on new tires are about 10/32 an inch. When they get to the 4/32 inch mark, it is good to replace the tire. Tires whose threads fall below 2/32 mark should never be used because they are not safe.
Turn on the Wipers
Apart from keeping the windshield clean, it is advisable to turn on the wipers to foster the driver’s visibility when driving. Also, make sure that the right washer fluid is used. Hydrophobic washer fluid is a great option. It makes water drip off the windshield or bead up instead of remaining on the windshield, causing poor visibility. It is also advisable to have the wipers replaced every year to avoid braking, cracking, or failing to seal when you desperately need them properly.
When it begins to rain, the chances of encountering an accident are very high. It is prudent to amend the speed accordingly. Traction is greatly jeopardized on wet roads. Therefore, drivers should slow down to avoid skidding and increase the ability to respond to emergencies. It is recommended to reduce the speed by 1/3 because traction is also reduced at the same rate. Even a little water on roads makes them slippery because the oil and water tend to mix up, forming a slimy sheet. Hydroplaning is also common on wet roads, mainly when one drives too fast. Hydroplaning means that the contact between the road and the car is reduced, leading to very little control over braking or steering.
Shift your focus to the pedestrians, other cars, and the road at the same time when driving. When it rains, the attention should be increased because visibility becomes poor, and the slickness of the way may hinder the ability to stop in emergencies. Also, you should avoid the cell phone and turn off the radio as well as other electronics. Avoid engaging in conversations with passengers or wearing makeup while driving. Reading or eating should also be eluded.
Turn on the Lights
The headlights should be turned on when it begins to rain while driving at any time of the day. It is illegal to keep the car headlights off on a rainy day. The lights make it easier for other drivers to notice the vehicle you are driving. They also help better see the road due to the darkness caused by clouds covering the sun.
Increasing your control of the car by having both hands on the steering is very vital. Your hands should always be at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock when driving while it is raining because it helps you to swerve better, turn or respond to emergencies due to increased control. Moreover, you should avoid driving while your hands are at 2 and 10 o’clock to circumvent being injured from airbags in case of an accident.
Be about 5 Seconds behind the Car In Front
Usually, have about a 3-4 seconds gap behind the car in front of you. However, when it is raining, the time gap should be increased to about 5 seconds. This gap helps adjust or stop when necessary. Also, it keeps you away from the spray from the other car that causes reduced visibility. Also, in case of an emergency, avoid Slamming on Brakes. Applying brakes on your vehicle instantly leads to forward sliding of the car, leaving you with little control over it. Water can also be forced into the brakes, and their effectiveness is jeopardized. To supplement this, make sure to downshift or ease off the accelerator.
On a rainy day, avoid turning too quickly because hydroplaning of the tires may occur, resulting in less control over the car, which causes skidding. If you have to take a turn, early signaling is advised. Gradually slow down to about 1/3 of your average speed and take the turn.
Avoid Cruise Control
Hydroplaning can also be caused by cruise control. When the accelerator is relieved on or off, the car’s weight shifts a little bit. However, cruise control leads to constant speed, which does not allow shifting of the load leading to a possible loss of traction.
Pull Over When You Have To
If you feel uneasy when driving, it is advisable to pull over somewhere along the roadside. You should pull over at a safe distance when you are unable to see the surroundings, the car in front, or the side of the road. Lightning or lights from other vehicles can cause reduced visibility. Pullover when you do not feel safe when the road feels too slick or when the water on the road is too much. Just turn the signals on, check blind spots and side mirrors and move to the furthest possible side of the road where you can pull over. Ensure that the four-way lights are on. You should stay calm, ease the foot off the accelerator, and gently apply pressure on brakes when the car skids. In the case of a hydroplane, do the same thing but do not steer. Also, turn around if flowing water is above the bottom of the car door or if you cannot see the ground.