Tips for Driving in Wet Weather
Without question, many of the most dangerous car accidents take place during wet weather. Rain, snow, and sleet create hazardous conditions that have to be carefully navigated if you are to arrive safely at your destination. Unfortunately, many people do not take wet and icy road conditions very seriously. This leads to many accidents and wrecks that could have been easily avoided. Public safety officers and car insurance agents have identified some of the most risky inclement weather hazards and encourage drivers to implement a few safe driving tips.
Wet Weather Driving Tips
Because each region of the country can have radically different climate conditions, not everyone will encounter the same weather-related challenges on the road. However, most of these tips will apply to any driver regardless of where they live.
- Slow down! Driving at high speeds is the single most dangerous thing you can do behind the wheel in bad weather. All experts agree that backing off the gas pedal will instantly increase the safety of your vehicle.
- Watch the road. In good weather, most drivers take for granted that the road in front of them is clear of obstacles. Instead, they will pay attention to the behavior of the driver in front of them. Being aware of other drivers is equally important in wet and dry weather, though rain, snow, and sleet can change the road itself in dramatic ways. Heavy rain falling in a short period of time can create large puddles that might be surprisingly deep. A road covered with water can cause a vehicle to hydroplane. Wet, slippery snow can also cause a vehicle to lose contact with the road and slide across the surface instead. Be especially careful going up or down hills, even those with a minimal incline.
- Make sure your vehicle is weather-ready. Drivers that live in climates that experience regular seasons of rain or snow are highly encouraged to prepare their vehicles for driving in bad weather. Many auto service centers offer specials on “winterizing,” or preparing your vehicle for winter driving. A winterizing service package will include new wiper blades, the installation of snow tires, a complete system check, the addition of antifreeze, and other services to ensure that your vehicle is prepared for whatever the season holds.
Adjust Your Driving to the Weather
Many drivers are under the impression that it’s possible to drive in wet weather in the same manner that they do in dry. This is a misconception. The truth is that even the most fundamental driving strategies have to be adjusted in order to compensate for the changing conditions. Inclement weather can include a number of complicating factors. You have to take each factor into consideration as you are planning your drive.
A Few Final Tips
In addition to the above tips, there are a few other simple strategies you can implement to ensure that you arrive safely. Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination; don’t put yourself into a position where you have to rush to arrive on time. Plan your route ahead of time; try to avoid making any unplanned detours. Minimize your driving until the weather has cleared up. And finally, make sure that you have a fully-stocked emergency kit that’s easily accessible. If you pay close attention to the road and prepare yourself ahead of time, you’ll be able to cope with even the worst wet weather driving conditions.