Rainy conditions are directly linked with higher accident rates in the US. Based on a study conducted by the country’s Department of Transportation, almost 1,235,000 automobile accidents are related to weather every year. Most of those accidents occur during rainfall (46%) and when the pavement is wet (70%).
Whether it’s a little sprinkle or a heavy downpour, driving in the rain can be one of the most challenging situations for any driver. Regardless of where you live, it’s almost certain that you will need to drive your car in the rain at some point. Knowing how wet roads and lower visibility can affect how you handle your vehicle will help you drive safely during rainy conditions.
Why it’s Dangerous to Drive in the Rain
There are several reasons why driving in the rain is riskier than any other dry day. One reason is that the roads are more difficult to drive on. It’s not uncommon for city roads to get flooded during the rainy season, making it hard and sometimes even impossible for numerous people to travel through those roads.
Sometimes it isn’t easy to verify how flooded roads are until you start navigating through them. For this reason, it’s crucial to have your radio tuned to the weather channel during a heavy downpour so you can receive important alerts. Another reason is that other drivers on the road are sometimes in a rush to reach their destination, which affects other drivers on the road.
Tips for Driving in the Rain
- Make sure your car is ready for bad weather. Is your vehicle in good condition? Before the rainy season arrives, bring your car to an auto repair shop and have it examined and properly tuned up. Brakes and tires are typically a huge point of failure during rainy conditions, together with the starter system and car lights. Getting these parts checked and properly conditioned will save you plenty of frustration during a storm.
- Drive slowly and carefully. As I pointed out earlier, city roads can get flooded quickly, and numerous times, they happen so fast that you won’t even notice it happening. Driving slowly and carefully also reduces the possibility of your tires slipping as there isn’t much traction on a wet road compared to a dry road.
- Maintain a good distance from other cars on the road. Regardless if your car is well conditioned for wet roads, if the car ahead of you isn’t, there’s still a chance for disaster to strike. To better protect yourself from potential road accidents during rain, keep a good distance from the vehicles in front of you. This way, you don’t have to break suddenly if the car ahead of you loses its grip on the road.
- Turn on your headlights. Although it might not be that dark and you can still see the road, go ahead and turn on the headlights. Doing so improves the chances of being seen by other drivers even when it’s foggy.
- Don’t drive, if possible. If there’s no need to drive during the rain, then perhaps you can work around that by rescheduling your trips for another time. Wait for better, dryer and sunnier days to hit the road. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Hopefully, you’ve learned something from this article. The next time you drive in the rain, you are already more knowledgeable and better equipped to deal with the situation.