As they say, April showers bring May flowers. But the rainy season can bring something else, too — car accidents.
Rainy weather can create some of the most dangerous conditions for drivers to traverse. This is especially true for drivers who have little experience driving in rain, who may not realize that it is not at all like driving in dry conditions.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to protect yourself, your family, and other people on the road. Stay safe with these tips for driving in the rain, provided by Stup’s Auto Center!
Practice Regular Car Maintenance
Before the rain even begins, you’ll want to make sure your car is in tip-top shape.
In particular, you want to make sure your windshield is clean on both the inside and outside. You should also test the efficiency of your wipers, and check for any significant wear which can make them ineffective.
Finally, you want to check that your tire treads are not worn and can provide appropriate traction. Check your tire pressure regularly and refill them if they fall below the recommended PSI. If you are unsure how full they should be, consult your car’s manual.
Avoid Puddles & Covered Roads
If you ever approach a road that is totally flooded, your best course of action is to turn around and find another route.
This is because you risk losing all control of your car in as little as three inches of water. Not to mention the damage it can cause to your engine.
For this reason, you should also avoid puddles that build up on street corners and on the edges of the road. A big splash of water entering the vehicle’s internal systems can cause the engine to stall.
Not only that, but water can be much deeper than it looks, causing you to get stuck in a dangerous situation.
Driving in the rain requires more careful attention than driving when it’s dry out. We recommend against using cruise control so you have more precise control on your acceleration and deceleration.
Rain can also limit your visibility, so turn on your headlights and keep a careful eye out for pedestrians or forest animals, such as deer.
Don’t use your brights, however, as the rain can cause the light to reflect back and limit your visibility even further.
Provide Space to Other Vehicles
The most important safety tip to avoid car collisions during the rain is to give plenty of space between your vehicle and the one ahead of you. Try to provide at least double the space you ordinarily would.
In the case of red lights or traffic, you need to brake much earlier than you may be used to. Leaving that extra space in between cars makes a gradual stop much easier.
Stay Calm If You Hydroplane
Avoiding puddles and flooded roads can reduce your chance of hydroplaning, but you should still be prepared in case it happens.
If you feel your car skidding across the surface of the water, remain calm. Any sudden or jerky movements can put the vehicle in a dangerous situation.
Do not slam on the brakes, or you risk spinning out. Ease off the acceleration slowly. If you do not have ABS, gently pulse the breaks.
Slowly steer the wheel in the direction of the most open space you can identify. Aim for the direction you want to go, but be prepared to adapt until your car regains contact with the road.
Comprehensive Auto Services in Frederick, MD
Are you unsure if your car is ready to tackle rainy conditions? Bring it into Stup’s Auto Center, conveniently located in Frederick, Maryland! We offer comprehensive routine maintenance and repair services to prepare you for the worst that weather has to offer. Call now!