Due to the increased frequency of stormy weather, driving in rain is more dangerous than driving in snow and ice. According to the United States Department of Transportation, wet pavement contributes to nearly 950,000 automobile crashes each year. Be prepared by making sure your vehicles(s) are ready and adjust some of your driving habits to avoid unwanted road occurrences.
However, if you must drive in the rain, follow these tips to avoid an accident.
- Slow down – When it rains, traffic can be bumper-to-bumper and visibility may be low. Slow down your speed so you do not collide with other vehicles, especially when it starts to rain. Driving too fast for conditions makes it more difficult to control your vehicle for proper steering, turning, and braking.
- If possible, avoid driving – Unless you must get to work or head out in an emergency, do not drive in heavy rain conditions. Wait for the worst to pass first. Rain reduces visibility, making it more difficult for drivers to see oncoming vehicles, pedestrians, and traffic signs.
- Do not use cruise control – You may lose control of your vehicle if you use cruise control on a wet road. You will need to reduce your speed, which is not possible with this setting.
- Use your vehicle’s equipment – Rain causes humidity levels to increase and cause your windshields to fog up in the rain, reducing visibility. Make sure to activate both your front and rear defrosters. Because most states require drivers to turn on their vehicle’s headlights while driving in the rain, make sure to activate your headlights. Also, use your windshield wipers – even in light rain, and take advantage of your wiper’s adjustable speeds.
- Brake early – This will increase the stopping distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. It will also give the driver behind you due warning so he/she can slow down in time. Also try to avoid heavy breaking.
- Watch out for pedestrians – Rain can reduce a vehicle’s visibility and muffle sound, which can prevent you from noticing pedestrians on the road.
- Watch out for puddles – Your vehicle can hydroplane if it travels over standing water. If able, drive around puddles. Also, the surface of the road may be covered in a thin film of water, oil, and grease, reducing your traction and cause your vehicle to skid.
- Drive in the tracks of the vehicle in front of you – This will reduce the amount of water that gets under your tires. Just make sure to keep a safe distance and be aware when the vehicle ahead of you brakes, so you can avoid a collision. Drive slow enough so your speed corresponds to the amount of water on the roadway.
- Be extra cautious at intersections – Before you arrive at an intersection, slow down. This will allow you to spot oncoming vehicles earlier. Also be aware of pedestrians – they will be more worried about trying to keep themselves dry rather than looking out for vehicles.
- Stop and pull over in heavy rain – If the rain refuses to let up or increases in intensity, just pull over and wait until the weather improves. Do not put yourself in danger – especially if you are a novice driver. Remember, even expert drivers can have difficulty controlling their vehicles in heavy rain. There is no reason to put yourself in danger if driving in wet conditions is not necessary.
Your company should have a comprehensive risk management and insurance program in place to protect it. When the unexpected happens, a plan can help you recoup losses with minimal stress. SIA Insurance Group can help you by coming up with a custom plan that meets your needs. Get in touch with us today.