By Beth Holland
No matter what part of the country you live in, eventually everyone will encounter driving in the rain.
Whether it’s a light sprinkle or a full downpour, it’s important to be prepared.
Make sure your auto is in good condition before bad weather hits. Check your headlights, taillights and windshield wipers to ensure they are in good working order. Adequate tire tread is also vital to maintaining your safety while navigating stormy weather. Balding tires have reduced traction on wet roads.
Turn on your headlights during a rainstorm during the day or night to improve your visibility. Also, even if you feel you can adequately see, it will improve your visibility to other drivers. Most US states now enforce “wipers on, lights on” laws. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has also approved regulations that will allow auto manufacturers to install adaptive headlights in cars, similar to existing laws in Europe and elsewhere.
One thing to be extra mindful about when it’s raining is the possibility of hydroplaning. Hydroplaning occurs when the vehicle slides uncontrollably on a wet surface. This can happen when the tires encounter more water than the treads can displace. If this happens, ease off the accelerator and continue to drive steadily forward. Do not slam on the brakes, which could send your vehicle out of control.
Car windows often become foggy when it’s raining due to increased humidity inside the car. Use your ventilation system to equalize the temperature between the inside and outside of the car, reducing fog inside your windows. If you are no longer able to see out of your windows, pull over.
Standing water in the road can hide dips, debris and washouts, and it’s easy to misjudge the water’s depth. Even on a familiar road, turn around and find another route to your destination. Just 6 inches of water is enough to flood most passenger autos, causing them to stall. You can quickly become stranded: a dangerous situation in rising waters. Standing water also can wreak havoc on your engine, electronics and your car’s interior.
If you are driving in an unfamiliar location, take extra precautions. In locations that get infrequent rain, the roads tend to be extra slick with buildup of various car fluids that don’t get washed away regularly.
Have questions about what you've read? Feel free to contact your local FUSA Insurance Agent and they can help you out!Find an Agent