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Tips On Driving In The Rain

Recently here in Southern California, we’ve been hit by a week-long rain storm – which is rare here. Usually we get hit with a day or two of rain and then it goes away. BUT NOT THIS TIME. Wet socks, wet clothes, leaks, and that just describes my girlfriend! When it rain pours down, car incidents go up. Here are some helpful tips on how to drive better when it rains:

  • Turn on your headlights. It’s not for you to see better, it’s for others to see you. Heavy rain can  interfere with visibility on the road so turn on those lights to help others see you. A good tip to live by is that if your windshield wipers are on, your headlights should be on too.
  • Stay far away from other cars. If you’re behind a car, the car will be shooting a light mist in front of you, which means your visibility of the road will worsen. Keep about 2-3 car distance away from the car in front of you to maximize safety.
  • Avoid flooded roads. Driving in standing or flowing water on the road is a good way to stall your engine or float your car. Don’t risk it.
  • Make sure your windshields are clear. In hot, muggy weather, air conditioned air (which cannot contain as much moisture) will usually clear the inside of the windshield faster than non air conditioned. Use a defroster if needed and make sure both the inside and outside are squeaky clean.
  • Replace wind-shield wipers if needed. If your wipers leave streaks or lose their effectiveness, replace them. It will make a world of difference. I personally recommend the RainX brand. Make sure you know your wiper size when you purchase new wipers. Try RainX’s blade size finder.
  • Brake earlier and with less force than you would normally. Not only does this increase the stopping distance between you and the car in front of you, it also lets the driver behind you know that you’re slowing down. Also, be more meticulous about using turn signals, so that other drivers know your intentions, and take turns and curves with less speed than you would in dry conditions.
  • Check your tires. If your tires are bald or have little tread, you’re more likely to hydroplane on the road at lower speeds. Either get new tires immediately or drive slower since you’ll be at risk of hydroplaning. Either way, you should always be aware of the tread on your tires and replace when necessary!
  • Beware of your speed. The faster you accelerate, the more likely you are to hydroplane. Hydroplane means you’re skidding on thin film of water with little or no steering/braking control. Reduce your speed so your wheels will be in contact with the  pavement.
  • If you hydroplane – slowly go off the gas, steer without big movements, and DONT HIT THE BRAKES! Very similar to what should be done on ice.

Check out this video if you want to know more about how to safely get out of a hydroplane.

 

Drive safely, stay calm, and be cautious!

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Written by lordsinsurancelog

December 22, 2010 at 7:35 pm