Safe Driving Practices
Whenever it rains, drivers should slow down and increase their following distance. If every driver followed this simple recommendation, countless accidents could be avoided every year. When on multi-lane roads, drivers should choose the inside lanes to avoid the pools of water that often collect on the sides of the roads.
Drivers should avoid following large trucks and buses because they often splash water onto the windshield of nearby cars, causing visibility and safety problems. Be prepared for surprises near those vehicles, especially when passing.
When driving on wet roads, drivers should minimize the use of brakes. Tires don't grip the road well when wet, so any sudden braking can lead to hydroplaning and control problems, especially when tires are well-worn.
Some safety tips are laws in many states. For example, drivers should always burn their headlights and run their windshield wipers in the rain. The lights make cars more visible in the rain and the wipers improve drivers' visibility.
Flooding presents special hazards to drivers. If during the day the roadway is not visible through standing water, drivers should turn around rather than put themselves and their car in jeopardy. Floods that show no visible sign of water currents can easily carry a car off the road, so drivers should be very careful before entering a flooded part of the road.
Drivers should exercise extreme caution during thunderstorms. Rain can become so heavy that they can't see far enough ahead to drive safely. Whenever possible, drivers should pull off the road or highway and wait for the rain to stop.
There are no laws about being nice, but it doesn't hurt to exercise some consideration when passing pedestrians in the rain. Driving through puddles at speeds over 10 mph can splash water a great distance. Drivers can show some common courtesy to pedestrians by slowing down. However, courtesy does not mean that a motorist should pick up any strangers stuck in the rain; they should exercise common sense.
Prepare for Wet Weather
Before taking a vehicle out in the rain, drivers should make sure all lights are working and that the wipers work and have functional and effective wiper blades. Drivers who need help checking or replacing these items can stop by their local auto parts store.
Drivers often prolong the use of worn tires to save money, but this practice puts their lives in peril when it rains. Because worn tires lack deep treads, they have no way to channel water from between the tire and the road. This leads to hydroplaning and skidding that can result in a serious accident.
Just as many drivers choose to stay home during a snow storm whenever possible, drivers should avoid going out in rainy conditions. There's no better way to avoid an accident than by being off the road when conditions are at their worst.
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