It's not a closely held secret that many Southern Californians simply don't know how to drive in the rain. The winter months see more auto accidents, longer commute times, and jam-packed freeways anytime the clouds open up. Being prepared for the rainy season drive, and rainy season drivers, can help you and your family stay safe.
Edmunds, the automotive information company, provides a very good resource for driving in the rain on their website. Following these guidelines (highlights and analysis below) can go a long way to ensuring a safe commute.
The first rain is the most dangerous rain
Dirt, oil, dust, and all manner of slippery substances accumulate on the roads and freeways when there is nothing to wash it away. The first rain after a prolonged dry spell can make the roads extremely slick. Use extra caution during the beginning hours of a rainfall.
Don't follow as close
It takes longer to stop when the pavement is wet. Allow some extra space between yourself and the car in front of you, so if you have to make an emergency stop, you can.
Brake earlier, and brake longer
Not only will this increase the stopping distance between you and the car in front of you, but it allows drivers behind you know your intentions. Using your turn signal will also help other drivers stay aware of your actions.
Take curves at a slower speed
It is much easier to lose control of a vehicle when the road surface is wet. Staying at a manageable speed can greatly reduce the risk of single car accidents.
Use your headlights
California and many other states' laws read that if you have your wiper blades on, you must have your headlights on, even in the daytime. Not only will turning your headlights on in the rain save you a ticket, it will also promote safety by announcing your presence to other drivers.
Do NOT break or move the steering wheel when hydroplaning
If your vehicle begins to hydroplane, slowly release the gas pedal and steer straight ahead until the vehicle regains traction with the road. If you need to brake and do not have anti-lock brakes, continuously press and release the brake pedal. Vehicles with anti-lock brakes can have the brake pedal continuously depressed.
Check your windshield wipers
Being caught in a strong downpour with damaged windshield wipers can be extremely dangerous.
For a complete list of safety tips for driving in the rain, visit the Edmunds Safety Tips webpage.
If the unfortunate should happen and you or a loved one is involved in an auto accident, contact The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker at (800) 333-0000. We provide 100% free, no obligation consultations and can help you determine your best course of action. And, as always, you won't be charged a dime if we don't get you any money. We'll fight for you!