Thankfully, California is finally getting some rain. However, despite the benefits of the incoming rainfall, it creates some new hazards too. One downside of wet weather is navigating the roads.
While rain may not seem like a big deal, it can be catastrophic. In fact, rain is the deadliest weather hazard, beating out snow and ice. Here are a few safety guidelines for driving in rainy conditions, storms and floods.
1. Turn your headlights on
Not only is it the law to have your lights on while using your windshield wipers, but it is crucial for your safety. Visibility is low during wet conditions, so it is more difficult for other motorists to see you. Having your headlights on helps other drivers notice you. This simple step can significantly reduce your chances of getting in a car accident in the rain.
2. Take your time
You should not drive in the rain at the same speed as you do on dry and sunny days. Drive slower to keep your car from hydroplaning. Traveling at a slower speed will help your tires maintain traction while driving over excess water. Give yourself some extra time to arrive at your destination.
3. Do not use cruise control
While the cruise control function in your car may be convenient, beware of it while driving on wet pavement. Cruise control can actually cause you to easily lose control of your car on slippery streets. If you start hydroplaning while cruise control is on, you are more likely to go faster and spin out of control.
4. Give other cars more space
Ideally, you should increase your following distance by a few seconds when driving in the rain. This gives you and other drivers more time to react to traffic and road hazards.
5. Stay alert
Driving becomes something you do subconsciously over time. When it is raining, you must stay focused and drive defensively because everything is more unpredictable.