Driving in severe weather is tricky. One of the most common (and potentially dangerous) weather conditions israin. Rain and wet weather give many drivers anxiety, and rightfully so: rain causes more than 700,000car accidents in the United States ever year.
While this statistic may be frightening, driving in wet weather conditions doesn’t have to scare you. Here are a few tips for staying safe on the road this rainy season:
1) Stay Alert
It might seem simple, butthinking while you drive is the best way to avoid an accident. According to researchers, most drivers tend to drive on “autopilot,” without putting active thought into where they’re going. Operating a vehicle is probably second nature to you, but driving in the rain may require quick thinking and reflexes; be ready to react.
2) Stay Visible by Turning on Your Headlights
In the U.S., drivers must turn on headlights when visibility. Even if you don’t feel like you need to use your headlights, turn them on so that other drivers can see you.
3) Watch Out for Hydroplaning
Hydroplaning happens when your tires gain traction on puddles in the road instead of the asphalt, causing the vehicle to the skid and swerve. Hydroplaning is very common; it only takes 1/12th of an inch of water and a vehicle moving 35 miles per hour to create this scenario. If you feel your car hydroplaning, remove your foot from the accelerator and continue driving straight until the car regains traction on the road.
4) Do Not Use Cruise Control
Cruise control is a great tool for drivers, but it can be dangerous in wet weather. If you’re using cruise control and begin to hydroplane, your vehicle will speed up. In dry conditions, cruise control helps your vehicle maintain a steady speed. In the rain, however, cruise control can cause accidents.
5) Watch Your Speed
“Slow down” is the one of the most important things to remember while driving in the rain. According to Florida law, it is unlawful to drive faster that is “reasonable and prudent” for given conditions. In wet weather conditions, this could beslower than the posted speed limit.
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