Nearly half of all weather-related car accidents are due to rain. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there are on average more than 950,000 automobile accidents each year due to wet pavement, resulting in approximately 4,700 deaths and 384,000 injuries. Here are some tips to remember when driving in the rain.
- Turn on your headlights-It’s the law in all states to turn on headlights when visibility is low and especially when driving in the rain.
- Beware of Hydroplaning- Hydroplaning is when your tires lose traction with the road due to excess water on top of the road. Your car will slide uncontrollably and it doesn’t take much rain at all for this to happen. If you start to hydroplane, let off the accelerator slowly and steer straight until you regain control. If your car starts to spin, turn your wheel in the direction that the vehicle is spinning, slowly. Do not turn your wheel against the direction it has begun to spin. Do not jerk the wheel sharply in one direction or the other, as you could flip your car.
- Drive in the tracks of the car in front of you- This allows the vehicle ahead to displace any standing water that’s on the road.
- Increase your following distance- Slick roads, wet brakes and reduced visibility can lead to collisions. Give other vehicles plenty of room and brake early with reduced force.
- Grip the steering wheel with both hands to maximize vehicle control- This means putting down your cell phone, coffee, maker and anything else that takes your hands off of the wheel and eyes away from the road.
- Defog your windows- Precipitation can cause your windshield to quickly fog up so use the front and rear defrosters to maximize visibility.
- Be extra cautious with merging lanes- Motorists should drive defensively and take precautions when passing vehicles to prevent merging collisions.
Remember, these safe driving tips can save your life. If you or anyone you know has been in an accident, please call Nguyen & Associates at (702) 999-8888.