4 Safety Tips for Driving in the Rain
As the days grow longer and temperatures rise, spring is well on its way. Given the change in season, the rain will increasingly replace snow as the predominant form of precipitation. Although usually easier to drive in than snow, rain-filled roads should not be underestimated. Here are five safety tips to keep in mind when driving in the rain.
- Slow down
The first rule of thumb when driving in the rain is to reduce your speed. Driving on wet surfaces can significantly increase your stopping distance. Remember, the posted speed limit is based on ideal driving conditions. Wet roads are, by definition, not ideal. Therefore, you should reduce your speed by at least five kilometres per hour below the posted speed limit when driving in the rain.
- Turn on your headlights
Get into the habit of turning on your headlights whenever you need to use your windshield wipers. In fact, some US states have made this mandatory. Although not required in Canada, it’s still the best way to ensure other motorists see you. In heavy downpours, you may even want to turn on your hazard lights to help prevent someone from rear-ending you. However, don’t use your high beams while driving in the rain. The light will reflect off wet surfaces, potentially blinding you and other drivers.
- Avoid large puddles
Although not always possible, it’s best to avoid driving through standing water. Driving over a puddle can cause you to hydroplane and lose control of your vehicle. Moreover, if the puddle is deep enough, water could damage the undercarriage of your car, leading to electrical problems, mould growth and engine flooding.
- Properly inflate your tires
Ensure your tires are inflated to the correct pressure before getting behind the wheel. This will help your tires grip the road when driving on wet roads. Keep a tire gauge on hand and check your tire pressure regularly.
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