Driving Rain, Driving, Driving in Rain.

Driving Rain, Driving, Driving in Rain.

Remember that old nursery rhyme, “Rain, rain, go away; Come again some other day” rarely works, which is why there are over 5,543,000 vehicle crashes each year in the U.S.  Due to our changing  weather, including wet pavement and rain fall, contribute to over 1.1 million of them. So driving in the elements will always be inevitable, but knowing how to safely maneuver the wet pavement is vital to any driver. An alarming statistic from the U.S. Department of Transportationstates that 73% of accidents occur on wet pavement, and 46% during rainfall. Whether you safely maneuver the terrain or you begin to hydroplane, Larsen Insurance wants to prepare you for any situation with these important must-reads:

Get Your Car Rain-Ready

First thing is, check your tire treads before bad weather driving the roads starts. Low tire treads don’t grip the road as well as fully functional tires, so consider using the penny test to effectively diagnose your tire’s effectiveness. If you can see Lincoln’s head, drive on over to the tire shop! If not, you’re good to go.

Driving Rain, Driving, Driving in Rain.

  1. Avoid cruise control, which increases your chance of losing control of the vehicle.
  2. Reduce speed by at least 10%, so if the speed limit is 55, drive at around 45-48 mph to diminish risk of hydroplaning [tires rising up onto a layer of water].
  3. Avoid hard breaking to give your vehicle a longer opportunity to slow down.
  4. Increase following distance between cars so slowing down is less of a surprise & necessary reaction times stay reasonable.
  5. Keep headlights on, but do not use high beams. Most cars today have daytime headlights so oncoming traffic can see you, so it’s an automatic thing.
  6. Don’t drive through a river! If you see a deep and flowing body of water growing on the pavement, avoid it and find a way to drive around it.

Help, I’m Hydroplaning!

Stay calm because even very experienced drivers can experience this kind of incident, so make sure not to panic. Continue to move in the direction in which your car is pulling and avoiding hitting the brakes as much as possible (anti-lock brakes do this). De-accelerate slowly by lifting your foot from the gas petal, and shift into a lower gear if you can.

When it’s raining cats and dogs, it is unlikely that driving will be enjoyable. However, you can make sure you can handle the rain while driving and stay safe.

Driving Rain, Driving, Driving in Rain.

Tom Larsen

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