Rain on the roadways is often underestimated, and always a real danger. With a cautious attitude and the following rainy day driving tips, you can stay safe and dry no matter what the storm brings.
Before you hit the road, make sure that your car has been maintained for optimal performance in all weather. Tires and windshield wipers are easy parts to check at home. Tires should have the proper pressure and the tread should be in good condition. Windshield wipers should be regularly checked for effectiveness. Take your car in for service to have the brakes and defroster functions regularly maintained. When you know there is a storm coming, allow for extra travel time so that you are never rushed down a rainy highway.
While traveling through stormy weather, let caution be your guide. Maintain a safe distance behind the car in front of you, especially large buses and trucks that throw a lot of water off their wheels. To help your visibility in a downpour, turn on the defroster to defog the windows. Switching on the headlights or fog lamps can also maximize visibility, but don’t turn on the high beams; the extra light will only further obscure your vision against the rain.
In the event of an emergency, you should be prepared with an emergency kit that includes at least the basics like road flares, a flashlight, jumper cables, a quart of oil, a first aid kit, multipurpose tool and extra fuses. Hydroplaning can be a serious threat on slick roads. If you do hydroplane, don’t hit the brakes; steadily steer the car as it glides, maintaining your trajectory until the tires can gain traction.
With a bit of preparation and careful driving, you can be road-ready when a storm hits. Maintain your car, take your time, and stay cautious if you find yourself caught in the rain.