Everyone faces dangerous driving conditions that increase their odds of an accident. This can include driving through construction zones where they may experience a tire blowout, icy roads and driving during a storm. Here are the top 5 driving tips to avoid auto accidents in the rain.
Make Your Vehicle Road-Worthy
Before you drive in the rain, check your windshield wipers. They should clear away the water in a single swipe. If they can’t, they should be replaced. You don’t want the distorted view a smeared windshield leaves you with. Verify that all of your lights and turn signals work so that others can see you and the information you intend to convey. Most importantly, check your tires. Are the treads strong? Are all of your tires properly inflated? If the answer to either of these questions is no, then it may be a good idea to look into replacing the tires. It doesn’t matter how careful of a driver you are if you try to stop on a bald spot on your tires; you’ll slide at best and spin out of control at worst. You should also check your brakes before driving on slippery roads.
When you start up the car, make certain that your brakes pull evenly on all wheels. If you see any pertinent warning lights on the dashboard or feel like the brakes aren’t working properly, return to where you started and remain there until the roads are dry. Then start researching your options for getting your car serviced.
Have Your Lights On No Matter What
Your car’s headlights should be on whether or not it is dark outside. In low light conditions and when there is poor visibility, your car is more visible to everyone else when the headlights are on. This reduces the risk someone jogs across the road while you approach or another vehicle swerves into your lane to avoid a puddle or pothole.
Don’t Run on Automatic
There are several variations of this advice. One is to never use cruise control when the road is wet. Cruise control will keep you driving at 60 miles an hour when the road conditions warrant traveling at 40 miles an hour. Another variation of this advice is not to let your mind wander while you’re driving. Don’t drive through wet, stormy conditions half-awake because you really want to make it home to sleep in your own bed. Don’t fiddle with the radio or make phone calls. Instead, devote your full attention to the road. Pay attention to the road. For example, slow down as you approach an intersection instead of assuming you can stop as soon as you slam on the brakes.
One of the best ways to avoid having to hire a car accident attorney is to slow down and continue driving slowly. When the roads are wet, it takes longer to stop. If you slow down by twenty miles an hour, you maximize the odds that you can stop if someone in front of you stops. It also provides more reaction time to respond to unanticipated threats, such as a deer jumping in front of your car, or another vehicle cutting you off.
If you take turns at a modest speed, your tires are less likely to lose their grip on the road, avoiding loss of control of the vehicle during a turn. This can save you from serious harm, such as the damage when your vehicle slides over a lane and hits a guardrail or another vehicle. Speeding in wet weather can cause your vehicle to spin out of control and hit several surrounding cars because you tried to take a turn too fast.
Understand what the rules are regarding driving in dangerous conditions. For example, many states require you to drive at a safe speed for the current hazards on the road. This means that a 65 mph speed limit in good conditions could fall to 30 or 40 depending on road conditions. Unfortunately, unlike the traffic sign, there isn’t a clear indication as to what that safe speed would be. We can say that if you’re whipping past everyone else, you’re likely going so fast that you may be considered at fault for any accident you get into. In fact, you could be considered at fault if you’re going 65 when everyone else is traveling 30.
Maintain a Safe Distance
Regardless of how slow you’re going, maintain a safe distance from the car in front of you. Give yourself enough space to be able to stop without hitting them. This is especially true if you’re behind a large truck. If the vehicle in front of you is throwing up water or mud, you don’t want it to land on the windshield and impede your vision. Take your time!
Car Accident Attorneys Available For Assistance
Follow our tips for safe driving in the rain, and you’ll have minimized your chances of getting into an accident, and reduced the odds of being found at fault if you do get in an accident. If you need an attorney to help you with your auto accident, please contact us for a consultation.