How to Drive Safely in the Rain?
With the many hazards drivers face daily, rain and wet conditions are probably the most common, especially in this part of the country. Even though it is common, rain still poses a danger to even the most experienced drivers, these issues can lead to a car accident.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, over 20 percent of almost 5.9 million car accidents yearly are weather-related. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over 46 percent of those weather-related crashes are caused by rain. Furthermore, heavy downpours are also dangerous; the National Weather Service reports that more than half of all fatalities caused by flood waters are vehicle-related.
Rain decreases your visibility, can cause your car to hydroplane, and reduces the traction your tires need for you to control your vehicle safely. With these dangers in mind, here are a few tips on how to drive safely in the rain.
Reduce Your Speed
Leave at least three seconds of following distance between yourself and the car in front, extending the time when conditions are bad. With rain, leaving at least five seconds of following distance is recommended to help control your car. Remember that the speed limit is the maximum speed you can drive when conditions are good, so reducing your speed to where you feel comfortable is perfectly okay.
Increase Visibility With a Clean Car
Visibility for yourself and for others to see your car is reduced by rain. To help you see better, clean the inside and outside of your windshields and windows regularly and replace your wiper blades at least once every six months. Make sure you have plenty of washer fluid, too. Lastly, keep your headlights on in the rain, which will help other cars see you better.
Familiarize Yourself With the Roads
Familiarize yourself with your route and how the roads react to rain. Some roads on your commute may be more prone to flooding, while other roads may be less traveled and may not soak up the water, as well as others. If you are in an unfamiliar area and caught in a heavy downpour, get on the freeway where flooding is less common.
Steer in the Direction You Want to Go
Hydroplaning is a danger when in the rain. It occurs when a thin layer of water forms between your tire and the ground, causing it to lose traction and skid. If you feel your car begins to hydroplane, slow down, take your foot off the gas pedal, and ensure the steering wheel is pointed in the direction you want. It may take a few attempts, but you should be able to regain control of your car.
Do Not Take Unnecessary Trips
It is always a good idea to pay attention to the weather forecast before any trips you take, even if it is your daily commute. If the forecast is poor or expects heavy rains, it is a good idea to forgo your trip and make other plans if possible.
Alexandria Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Can Help You After a Rain-Related Collision
Our Alexandria car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Duane O. King are here to help after a rain-related accident. Call us today at 202-331-1963 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Washington, D.C., Alexandria, and Falls Church, Virginia, we serve clients throughout Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.