In situations where you are caught in heavy rain, it is important to be prepared to adjust your driving style to maximize the safety of yourself and others. Driving in rainfall creates slick driving conditions, little visibility, and overall a difficult environment that requires caution and your full attention. Here are 5 safety tips to know and follow when driving in the rain.
- Slow Down
This one may be obvious, but it is one of the most important rules to follow. Not only does it reduce your chances of losing control on the road, but it also gives you more time and space to slow, stop, or swerve if need be. Even if you have control in the rain, others may not, so it is important to keep your distance, and take your time.
- Beware of Hydroplaning
The most common cause of accidents during rainfall is due to hydroplaning. This is when the 4 contact points of your vehicle skid along the water and make it difficult to steer and take control of your car. Driving too fast and braking intensely does not allow your tires to properly grip the road when conditions are sleek. To avoid hydroplaning on the road, brake lightly and ease into it. If you end up losing control, do not panic – the best thing to do is to take your foot off the gas completely, gently press the brakes, and do not turn the wheel to overcompensate. To take precautionary measures before a storm, check your tires to ensure that the tread is intact, and that the tires have the appropriate amount of air to help increase traction.
- Be Seen
Always keep your headlights on, even during the day to be extra visible to oncoming traffic. Light will shine through rain and fog, so keep your headlights on and keep watch for beams in the distance. It is important to avoid high beams as it can distract and blind drivers, especially with the reflection that rain brings. Being seen is important so that other drivers can be aware and cautious around you.
- Keep Your Distance
When driving, it is important to keep a safe distance from other road users. This is especially important in situations where road conditions are not safe. When driving in dangerous weather, keeping extra space between you and those around you will decrease your chances of getting into an accident. Keeping your distance gives you more time and space to stop, or swerve, if need be, which reduces the risk of hydroplaning.
- Pull Over
In cases of extremely low visibility, do not be afraid to pull over until the intense rainfall subsides. Sudden downpours usually come on quick, and slow after a couple minutes, so when you are in driving rain, and it is getting difficult to see ahead, pull over for your safety and for the safety of others on the road. When pulled over, go as far as possible away from the road to reduce your chances of getting hit, and turn on your 4-way flashers so that other vehicles can see you through the fog and rain.
Cantini Law Group has over 30 years’ experience representing Atlantic Canadians who have suffered injuries following a motor vehicle accident. For more articles and safety tips, go to https://cantiniinjurylaw.ca/blog/ or subscribe to our newsletter.