Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tips for Driving in the Rain

One of the most common natural driving hazards is a rainstorm. Many people do not realize that there are certain rules for driving in the rain that are different when driving in dry conditions. Here are some tips for getting to your destination safely if you must travel when the weather is less than favourable.
If you're venturing out during a rainstorm after the skies have been dry for a while, it is best to be very careful during the first few hours of your trip. The reason for this is because motor oil and grease from automobiles inevitably ends up on the road, and when the roads are dry it stays there. However, when it first begins to rain, the rainwater mixes with these elements, causing slick spots. It will take time for the rain to wash these fluids away, so the first few hours of a rainstorm can be more dangerous than the later hours.
You should assume that your trip in a rainstorm will take you longer. You will need that extra time to drive more slowly than you otherwise would. Traffic jams are common during rainstorms, as is flooding of the roads, which will delay your arrival at your destination.
You should stay in the middle of the road so that you don't drive through large water puddles that collect on the sides of the road. If you drive through these large puddles, you may be damaging your engine by allowing water to splash into it.
Whenever it rains, you should make sure to use your headlights. This is because the darkened sky makes it naturally harder to see and harder for other drivers to see you.
Don't attempt to drive when the rain is pouring down to the extent that you are unable to see the road. If you are already on the road when this happens, you will need to find a place to pull over and wait until the rain subsides.
Try to stay away from vehicles with large tires such as buses and trucks. These tires can cause a greater amount of water to spray from them, which could hit your windshield and temporarily block your view, which is always dangerous.
Hydroplaning is a common occurrence in the rain, and can cause the tires to lose traction. If this happens to you, drive the car as straight as you can until the traction returns to your tires. Don't abruptly slow down; you could end up skidding instead.
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