Throughout the last few days most of us have been caught in the summer rain showers, these are only the beginning! Driving in the rain can be extremely dangerous therefore we need to be prepared before and during the storm. Thousands of car accidents each year are caused by wet driving conditions.
Safety starts before you drive. Your main goal should be to see and be seen. Ensure your windshield wipers are kept up to date and replaced regularly. If your windshields leave streaks or don’t clear the glass in a single swipe then it is time to replace them. Ensure all headlights, taillights, brake lights and indicators are properly functioning therefore making you clearly visible to other drivers during the downpours.
Here are some tips you’ll want to follow the next time you’re caught driving in the rain:
- Turn on your windshield wipers.
- Slow down. Your first reaction should always be to adjust your speed accordingly. Wet roads reduce your traction, and slowing down reduces the chances of you skidding out, and will give you more time to react to emergencies.
- Stay focused.Concentrate on the road and be aware of other cars and
- Avoid the outskirts of the road and gravitate towards the middle lanes as water tends to gather in the outside lanes.
- Maintain proper following distance. Always leave a three- to four-second gap between your car and the car in front of you. When raining and your visibility decreases, increase this to at least five seconds when it’s raining.
- Avoid slamming on your brakes. Slamming on the brakes can cause your car to slide forward. Hitting the brakes too hard can also force water into your brakes, making them less effective. If possible, rather remove your foot from the accelerator to slow down.
- Turn on your headlights immediately, regardless of whether it’s day or night.
- Avoid off-road driving. It’s hard to judge the actual depth of puddles and you can easily become stuck.
- Never drive through moving water if you can’t see the ground through it; your car could be swept off the road.
- When approaching a puddle of uncertain depth, go slow. If the puddle is deeper than the bottom of your car door, avoid going through it. Deep water can cause serious damage to a modern car’s electrical system.
Overall you want to be extra cautious in wet weather. Drive safely and slowly.