Posted on June 16th, 2015 by Zane Cagle
It’s summer time in St. Louis, but we have been facing rain, seemingly every day. Therefore, no surprise it’s today’s topic!
After days and days of rain, many of the ground has reached saturation point and water can be standing on the roadways even though it is not pouring out of the sky. Then again, it’s been pouring for what seems like days! Water on the roadway can contribute to car crashes if drivers are not cautious.
Six Tips for Driving in the Rain
- THINK – So many drivers drive subconsciously and out of habit. When it rains, often drivers do no alter there habits. Drivers need to stay alert and focus on driving and what is going on around them. Be attentive.
- TURN ON HEADLIGHTS. It’s the law to turn on your headlights when visibility is low and many states require headlights to be on when operating windshield wipers. Good hint! If you have to use your wipers, use your headlights
- BEWARE OF HYDROPLANING. Hydroplaning is the technical term for when your tires are getting more traction on the layer of water on the road rather than the road itself resulting in your car sliding uncontrollably. It is quite easy to hydroplane actually. All it requires is one-twelfth of an inch of rain on the roadway and speed of more than 35 miles per hour. If you start to hydroplane, let off the accelerator and steer straight until you regain control.
- TURN OFF THE CRUISE CONTROL. On rainy or snow slick roads, cruise control can actually cause you to lose control. While you might think it will help you stay at one, steady speed, but if you hydroplane while using cruise control, your car may actually go faster.
- SLOW DOWN. Speed limits are set for ideal conditions, meaning they are set for ideal weather conditions, mild traffic and good visibility but when it’s pouring rain those conditions are not the actual driving conditions you are driving. Slow down when it’s raining. There is no law stating you have to always go the speed limit—it’s the limit not the minimum.
- INCREASE YOUR FOLLOWING DISTANCE. Increase the distance between the car in front of you and yourself. Your stopping time will be shorter because of rainy road conditions. If you can see it is raining, visibility is lowered, then you can make the decision to give yourself more reaction time to avoid hitting the car in front of you. Avoid rear-ending another car by increasing your following distance.
So, if you are headed out onto the roadways today, slow down and be alert to increase your chances of avoiding a motor vehicle collision. In the Midwest, we get hit with snow in the winter that sometimes just shuts down traffic. Likewise, in the spring and summer when we get rain day after day, flooding occurs and the likelihood that you will hydroplane increases.
Practice safe driving and arrive at your destination without injury. If you are involved in a car crash, be sure you notify authorities and seek medical treatment. Visit our free phone application “Injury Attorney” for steps to take following a crash including emergency numbers, tow services and ways to save important information.
The first goal of driving safety is to avoid car crashes, however, you can only be responsible for your driving. Should someone else hit you, you will need to follow the steps to ensure you receive the compensation you need for medical bills and other damages. Contact one of our attorneys seven days a week for a free, confidential consultation.