Summer rains can bring a lot of problems for drivers on roadways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 1.2 million traffic accidents occur each year on wet roads. In fact, more than one half million persons get injured and 5,700 killed. This is why we wanted to take this time to remind you to drive safely during wet-weather conditions and to give you some valuable driving techniques in order to avoid accidents brought on by the rain.
We as drivers know it’s harder to drive in wet conditions. It’s not only more difficult to see the road; your vehicle’s traction is also significantly hindered. The most dangerous time driving is actually during the first 30 minutes of rainfall as oil and debris first rise to the road’s surface and creating a slick-as- ice film on roadways. You can help to avoid accidents in the rain that may involve hydroplaning, skidding or sliding off the road completely by reviewing the tips below.
Before driving, check your vehicle’s accessories and parts such as your windshield wipers. Are they starting to show streaks on your windshield? Then it’s time to let them go and buy new ones.
Make sure your taillights, headlights, brake lights and signal lights work properly. You don’t want to make your vehicle harder to see in the rain.
You should also check your tires, making sure their tread depth is not flattened and that you have enough air. Use the penny trick to check your tread depth. First, take a penny and place it in the tread. If you see above Abraham Lincoln’s head, you should go out and buy tires before driving in the rain.
Allow for more travel time, rainy driving can mean diminished visibility, and more hazards on the road so take it slow and easy.
Brake earlier and lighter: This decreases the stopping distance between you and the car in front and decreases the risk of hydroplaning.
Don’t forget to turn ON your headlights: Even in a light mist of rain, turning on your headlights not only increases your visibility but allows other drivers to see you better. AVOID using your high beams however, as the glare can blind fellow motorists.
Most importantly, give the road your full attention! Avoid talking on your cell phone or texting!
Being more aware of this and driving accordingly will help in decreasing the amount of auto accidents and claims, as well as time, traffic, and injuries. Drive safe on the roads this summer.