Vital Safety Tips while Driving in the Rain

The South Texas Drought continues but heavy rain in the forecast means now is a great time to share important safety tips on how to best drive on wet roads and highways.

Safety starts with replacing old worn windshield wipers, headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals. Make sure they work properly and during downpours, turn on your headlights so you can see better and so others can see you.

Proper tire tread depth and inflation are imperative on wet roadways. You can check the tread depth with a quarter inserted upside down into the tire groove. If you can see above Washington’s head, it’s time to start shopping for new tires. Also check each tire’s pressure, including the spare, at least once a month… and be sure to check the pressure when the tires are cold. Whether you’ve checked your car’s equipment or not, below are important things to know.

Three important Safety Tips to follow when driving in the rain.

Avoid Cruise Control

Cruise control is a common feature for most cars. This feature works great in dry conditions, but the chance of losing control of your vehicle increases on a wet road. You may need to reduce your car’s speed by lifting off the accelerator to avoid hydroplaning (which is when your tires rise up on a film of water). It is difficult to do this when cruise control is engaged.

It is important to concentrate fully on every aspect of driving when driving in the rain. Avoiding cruise control will allow you more options when responding to a potential loss-of-traction situation.

Slow Down and Leave Room in Front of you

Slowing down on a wet road is critical to reduce hydroplaning. You should reduce your speed based on the amount of water on the roadway and how hard it is raining. At speeds as low as 35 mph, new tires can still lose some contact with the roadway.

To further reduce your chances of hydroplaning, you should slow down, avoid hard braking or turning sharply. Remember to drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you, but allow motorists ample stopping distance.

How to Respond to a Skid

Even careful drivers can experience skids. If you feel your car begin to skid, it’s important not panic and remember to follow these basic steps:

  • Continue to look and steer in the direction in which you wants the car to go.
  • Avoid slamming on the brakes as this will further disrupt your vehicle’s balance and make it harder to control.

Be extra cautious in wet weather! Slow down, avoid hard braking or sharp turns and allow ample stopping distance between you and the cars in front of you.

Bonus Tip

Avoid flowing and even standing water on the road… “Don’t Drown, Turn Around”. You don’t know what could be under that innocent looking puddle of water, did you know potholes grow and multiply during the rain? It is important to make sure to slow down and avoid standing water whenever possible.

These tips may seem elementary, but since it’s been so long since we’ve seen rain in South Texas now is a great time to remind ourselves what to do. Please share these vital safety tips with someone you care for… I just did.

Because We Care,

Ed Cantu