The rain is back, and there are more and more drivers on our roads, many of whom may not be used to driving in rainy conditions. Stay as safe as possible with these wet weather driving tips:
Slow down. Brakes won't help you if you hydroplane. Ease up on the gas or gently downshift if you're driving a manual transmission. Antilock brakes and traction control can't help you in ice or heavy rain.
Keep your headlights on for better visibility. Reduced visibility may give you less time to react. Make sure others can see you, and slow down so you have time to respond, especially near crosswalks and intersections.
Allow for a greater stopping distance. Stopping too fast can lead to skidding or hydroplaning, and it will take longer to stop on wet roads. Give yourself an additional 1-2 seconds of following distance. (On clear, dry roads, you should allow for 1 second for each 10mph increment of speed. Add a few seconds to that). Make sure you have enough time so that even if the car in front of you spun out of control, you'd have enough time to avoid an accident.
If you start to hydroplane or skid, stay calm, let off the gas but don't brake, and continue to steer (and look) into the direction you want to go.
Make sure you stay to the right unless you're passing. If someone wants to pass you or is close behind, move to the right and allow them to pass if you can. Don't let aggressive drivers rattle you. Just let them move ahead when possible and safe to do so.
Finally, if you do have an accident, don't panic. Make sure you're in a safe location, and collect all the pertinent information from the other driver and the scene. Go to the emergency room if necessary, then give us a call. Even low impact crashes with minimal damage to your car can lead to significant injuries to the spine and soft tissues. Don't try to 'wait it out' if you experience any symptoms after an accident. Whether it's a quick check to make sure you're OK, or you need more care than that, we'll get you back on the road to recovery.
Check out our handy form that you can keep in the glove box. We hope you never have to use it, but it can help you be prepared to collect all the necessary info if you ever have an accident.
Click here for the auto accident form.