Spring typically brings an increase in rain, which can make driving hazardous as roadways get slick. Taking care during travel can help you prevent a serious auto accident injury.
Try these tips to improve your wet weather driving skills.
Prepare your vehicle
When rain is in the forecast, take steps to get your car ready. Tires should have enough tread to maintain traction with the road to prevent hydroplaning and loss of control. Check your windshield wiper blades and replace them if needed. Make sure headlights and taillights are working and change the bulbs if they need it.
Steer around puddles
Hydroplaning occurs when your car’s tires lose contact with the roadway. This can happen even with a fraction of an inch of water on the road, so use caution, and steer around standing water as long as it is safe to do so.
Use your headlights
According to Maryland state law, drivers must illuminate headlights when using their windshield wipers. This step helps other drivers see you when weather limit visibility.
Avoid cruise control
Although cruise control can be convenient, it can also increase your chances of losing control of the vehicle in bad weather. Use this system only when conditions allow it and turn off cruise control when driving in the rain. If you hydroplane when you have cruise control engaged, your car will actually move faster.
Remember that the posted speed limit is the maximum, not the minimum. In unfavorable conditions, slow down to prevent a collision. Speed can contribute to hydroplaning and increase the risk of colliding with another car that stops short. For this reason, you should also double or even triple your normal distance from the car in front of you.
These strategies can help keep you and others on the road safe by reducing the chances of a dangerous auto accident. New and less confident drivers may even want to delay travel until conditions are clear.