For many people, driving safely in the rain can be an anxiety-producing activity as it increases the risk and/or potential for a dangerous situation. Two of the main problems that come with heavy rain is poor visibility and hydroplaning.
Hydroplaning is when a vehicle is travelling at a fast pace in heavy rain conditions, the vehicle’s tyres end up moving on a thin layer of water instead of being gripped to the tar/road. Meaning your tyres are getting more traction on the layer of water than the road. This, then makes steering and braking difficult and increases the chances of losing control of your vehicle.
However, driving safely in the rain doesn’t have to be a nerve-wracking experience.
Here are 6 tips to drive safely in rainy conditions:
1. If you do not really need to be on the road/travelling then avoid the roads completely until the bad weather clears.
2. Stay alert and focused on what’s going on around you.
Severe weather conditions demand your undivided attention. So, to reduce (possible) distractions, keep the radio off or on low-volume and leave that cellphone alone.
3. Slow down and take your time.
The only way to avoid hydroplaning is to slow down. In addition, oils on the road make the road surface more slippery when it rains. Taking a little time to get to your destination will ensure a safe arrival.
4. Turn headlights on.
Headlights help other drivers see you.
4. Allow more space between cars.
By allowing 1-2 extra seconds of following time in the rain it gives the car behind/surrounding cars time to react.
5. Be mindful of other drivers
6. Turn off cruise control.
Cruise control may cause you to lose control. If you hydroplane while you’re using cruise control, your car will actually go faster.