How to Drive in the Rain

How to Drive in the Rain

When it rains, suddenly, it seems like no one knows how to drive. The truth is that the problem isn’t that people don’t know how to drive – it’s just that they’re still driving like they’re on a nice dry road. Driving in the rain is a whole different style of driving, and people need to realize and adjust their driving to compensate.

Rain tends to increase the rate of accidents because it impairs the ability of drivers to see. When it’s dark outside and the rain is pounding against the windshield so fast that the windshield wipers aren’t doing much good, it’s easy to lose track of what’s going on outside of the car. Heavy rain not only obscures a driver’s vision; it also cuts down on the amount of light coming from streetlights and headlights.

Another reason why rain causes accidents is because wet asphalt doesn’t provide as much traction as dry asphalt does. When people drive in the rain without changing the way they make turns and brake, they aren’t taking into consideration the fact that their wheels aren’t interacting with the ground the same way as usual. If it has just rained for the first time in a long while, you need to be even more careful; the rain stirs up all the oil and grease that built up on the road since the last time, and instead of just driving on a wet street, you’re also driving on a slick one. If it rains consistently, though, this isn’t as big of a problem since the rain constantly washes away the oil and grease build-up.

If you want to stay safe while it’s raining, the best thing you can do is to go slower; this is not the time to go speeding through the roads, even if they are empty. Traffic tends to get heavier during the rain due to lack of visibility. Also, if it’s a particularly heavy rain, your route may become flooded or closed off, causing you to need additional time to make a last minute detour.

When it’s time to brake, start braking earlier than usual and do it more gradually. The same goes for turns; due to lack of traction, braking or turning sharply may cause you to swerve. Make sure to actually use your turn signals so other drivers can take your intended route into consideration.

Although you may think it’s a good idea to use cruise control to make sure you won’t speed in the rain, it’s not. For example, if you start to hydroplane on the road, your cruise control might try to accelerate the car to compensate – something you definitely do not need in this type of situation. Cruise control is also not a good idea in the rain because it encourages you to take your foot off the pedal, which in turn decreases your reaction time.

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