However, with slick roads, flooded streets and reduced visibility, that can be a recipe for disaster. So instead, follow these simple tips for safer rainy day travels.
- Stay visible. Turn on your headlights so you can see — and be seen — more easily.
- Be patient. Give yourself more time to get where you’re going, and give people more room. Increase your following distance two to three times.
- Expect slippery conditions. Rain often combines with oil and grease buildup to create slick roadways. Not to mention you can hydroplane — meaning your tires are riding on water instead of pavement — at speeds of as little as 35 mph. If it happens, slow down, gently apply your brakes and keep steering straight ahead.
- Check your car’s systems. How are your wipers? Do your blades need to be replaced? What about your defroster? Driving in the rain is hard enough; don’t do it with fogged-up windows, too.
- Inspect your tires. Are they inflated properly? Do you have enough tread? Put an upside-down penny into the tread. If you can see Lincoln’s entire head, you probably need new tires.
- Never drive in flooded areas. In a flood, it won’t take much water to sweep you away, believe it or not — just 12 inches for a smaller car or 24 inches for almost any vehicle, according to the National Weather Service, which advises, “turn around, don’t drown.”
- Get – or stay – off the road. When conditions are really bad, pull over and take a break. Or, if you can, just stay home. You’ll probably be happier to stay out of the weather, anyway! And you’re certainly likely to be safer.