Southern Californians have sure been subjected to some weird weather lately. Last week it's over 100 degrees everywhere, and this week it's cold and rainy. Autumn is upon us, and with winter rapidly approaching, it's important to once again stress the dangers of driving under wet conditions. Auto accidents occur at a higher than normal frequency in the wet weather, and serious injuries are always a concern.
Always buckle up, be alert, and be sure to follow these helpful tips from Edmunds for driving in rainy conditions:
Turn on 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 on your headlights in the rain promote safety by announcing your presence to other drivers, it may also save you a ticket.
Beware slippery roads after the first 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 drive 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.
Slow down for curves
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.
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 article.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, do not hesitate to give The Law Offices of Larry H. Parker a call at (800) 333-0000 for a free consultation.