Driving In The Rain
by SWERVE Driving School
Perhaps the most common hazardous condition we, as drivers, face is the rain. In fact, because it is so common, most drivers don't change their driving to suit the conditions. And that's what makes it so dangerous. So, here are a few tips to think about before you drive again in the rain.
- First, make sure you have good visibility.
- De-fog and clean your windows before driving. And, make sure your windshield wipers are up to doing their job. Clean or replace them often.
- Be visible yourself by turning on your lights (remember that with some vehicles with Daytime Running Lights, the tail lights are not always on).
- Be careful of pavement changes, steel expansion joints on bridges, and painted road markings. They can be far more slippery than the surrounding asphalt.
- Be cautious after driving through deep puddles. Your brakes may not be as effective afterward. If the brake pads or brake shoes get wet, your car may not stop as quickly as normal. So, after passing through a deep puddle - and before having to stop at an intersection or whatever - test them out. Apply the brakes lightly to dry them out (after checking to see that no one is following you too closely.)
Driving in the rain can actually have an advantage. Often, you can see the reflection in the wet pavement of the brake lights up to two cars ahead of you. This can give you a slightly earlier warning of traffic coming to a stop. That early warning can be a big benefit in the slippery conditions. Of course, that only works if you don't follow too closely.
- If you are too close, you won't be able to see under the car directly in front of you.
- Give yourself a little more room to react. Because your visibility and traction are reduced in the rain, you're going to need more room.
- Keep two hands on the steering wheel and try to drive as smoothly as possible. You would be surprised at just how much these two little things can help you in rainy conditions.
- Think about your speed. The single biggest difference between driving in the rain and driving on a sunny day is the reduced visibility and traction.