Are you thinking about taking a long-distance road trip? Make sure to check the weather first because driving in the rain is a challenging feat. Whether it’s just a sprinkle or a heavy downpour, you better make sure you stick to the rules of the road religiously, even take some extra precautions.
Data shows that rainy conditions are often directly associated with higher accident rates. Just by simply being aware of the effects of wet roads and reduced visibility on your vehicle will help you drive more safely in rainy conditions.
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So today, we will be sharing our top 10 Tips to remain safe while driving in rainy conditions.
Tip 1) Consider waiting out the storm
Waiting out the storm helps you avoid driving alongside other drivers in such hectic weather conditions, making everyone on the road vulnerable to accidents. Usually, if you are on your way to more casual events, people don't mind if you arrive late due to unfriendly weather because everyone can empathize with putting safety first.
Tip 2) Slow your roll
Statistics say that you are much less likely to hydroplane at or below 35 MPH (miles per hour). If you are nervous and decide to drive far below the speed of traffic, it's best to stay in the far right lane and turn on your hazards. By doing this, you will alert other drivers to the danger and communicate the desire to remain safe.
Tip 3) Practice social distancing on the road
Similar to a situation where you are driving on snow and ice, it’s crucial to leave a decent amount of space between you and the car ahead of you during a rainstorm. This will give you an extra second to avoid problems that may very well keep you from becoming another statistic.
Tip 4) Double-check blind spots
Merging on the highway is typically a bit stressful, regardless of the weather. So when the rain is pouring, we recommend a quick double-check because it's really hard to see clearly in your mirrors during a storm.
Tip 5) Please keep your headlights on
Having your headlights on will not only help you see better but will allow other drivers to see you as well. However, if it's really pouring out, remember to keep your headlights on low to avoid glare, which can cause other additional visibility issues.
Tip 6) Definitely don’t use cruise control
Cruise control use during a rain storm can actually cause tires to spin even faster if you start to hydroplane. Next, your vehicle could fishtail and lose steering control when the tires regain traction. This overall could be disastrous so it's best to avoid it.
Tip 7) Don’t drive through the falling water
This may sound obvious but it's very important to mention. As little as 12 inches of moving water can sweep your vehicle right off the road or into oncoming traffic so definitely search for an alternative route if possible.
Tip 8) Stay, stay, stay in your lane
On a normal day, lane changing and passing is fine but in rainy conditions, it will increase your chances of hydroplaning. As you move out of the tracks created by the vehicle in front of you, your tires will need to move even more water just to maintain contact with the road.
Tip 9) Be like a cat and keep away from water
Driving through standing water is not a good idea. It can potentially stall your engine and leave you stranded if enough water gets into the exhaust. It’s almost impossible to know how deep standing water really is but if you do make it safely through a large puddle, you should check your brakes by gently tapping them a few times.
Tip 10) Drive carefully
Anytime you’re faced with wet weather conditions, avoid hard braking, sudden acceleration or sharp turns. This can help minimize the chances of hydroplaning, keeping you safe while on the road during a storm.
It's safe to say that driving through inclement weather is no easy feat. We know the struggle, especially when you have arranged commitments and need to leave regardless of the storm. That's why whenever we plan a trip, rain or shine, we use RoofPax's waterproof rooftop cargo carrier because the water-resistant bag is designed to protect your gear through all types of weather conditions.
What are the hazards of the rainy season?
The rainy season can bring about several hazards, including:
Flooding: Heavy rainfall can lead to flash floods and overflowing rivers, causing damage to property and posing a threat to human safety.
Slippery Roads: Wet roads become slippery, increasing the risk of accidents due to reduced traction.
Mudslides: Areas with loose soil are prone to mudslides when saturated with rain, leading to potential destruction and danger.
Electrical Hazards: Lightning during rainstorms can cause fires, power outages, and electrical damage.
Waterborne Diseases: Stagnant water can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes and waterborne diseases.
What precautions should you take for rain safety?
To ensure rain safety, consider these precautions:
Check Weather Reports: Stay informed about weather forecasts and plan your activities accordingly.
Avoid Flooded Areas: Steer clear of flooded roads and areas to prevent getting stranded or swept away.
Drive Cautiously: Reduce speed, increase following distance, and use headlights for better visibility while driving.
Maintain Vehicle: Ensure your vehicle's brakes, tires, and windshield wipers are in good condition.
Carry an Emergency Kit: Have essentials like a flashlight, first aid supplies, and extra clothing in case of emergencies.
Stay Indoors: If possible, stay indoors during heavy rain, lightning, or flooding.
What should the tire pressure be on a wet road?
The recommended tire pressure for wet roads is usually the same as the manufacturer's recommended tire pressure for your vehicle. Proper tire pressure ensures that your tires maintain optimal contact with the road surface, improving traction and reducing the risk of hydroplaning.
Why do you need to slow down while driving on a wet road?
Driving slower on wet roads is essential due to several reasons:
Reduced Traction: Wet roads are more slippery, leading to reduced tire grip and increased stopping distances.
Hydroplaning: Driving at higher speeds increases the risk of hydroplaning, where your tires lose contact with the road surface and skid on a layer of water.
Visibility: Rain can reduce visibility, making it harder to spot obstacles and react in time.
Aquaplaning: Aquaplaning occurs when a layer of water builds up between your tires and the road, causing loss of control. Slower speeds reduce this risk.
How do you avoid hydroplaning while driving in rainy conditions?
To avoid hydroplaning:
Reduce Speed: Slow down to reduce the risk of water building up under your tires.
Maintain Tires: Ensure your tires have proper tread depth and are properly inflated.
Avoid Puddles: Steer clear of large puddles and areas with standing water.
Drive Smoothly: Avoid sudden movements, sharp turns, and hard braking, as these can cause loss of traction.
Follow Tracks: Drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead, as the water has already been displaced by their tires.
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