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Safety Tips for Driving in Wet Conditions or Rainy Weather

The AAA estimates that at least one million car accidents each year are caused by wet pavement and rainy weather. When it rains, not only does slick asphalt pose control issues that your car has to deal with but you will need to deal with reckless and negligent drivers who are all the more dangerous now that the weather has acted up. In order to help prevent and avoid collisions in rainy weather, there are a few basic tips you and every other motorist should know.

5 Wet Conditions & Rainy Weather Driving Tips

  1. Stay in control: Using cruise control is not something you should be doing in inclement weather. While this is a convenient feature in many cars, it takes away the option of immediately easing off the accelerator, which can help avoid crashes on slick pavement. There is also similar concern regarding self-driving vehicles in the future.
  2. Slower than usual: Never drive faster than what feels safe when it is raining. In many situations and on many roadways, if the road is slick, you should slow down at least 10 miles per hour under the posted speed limit. However, you need to judge the situation carefully and may need to go even slower if it means being safe.
  3. Increase your distance: Braking is difficult in the rain, but you probably don’t need to be told that. Rather than staying 3 or 4 seconds behind the car in front of you, make certain you are at least 5 second behind them. If it is raining at night, give yourself 6 full seconds for braking and reacting. Ideally, you will also always have empty lanes to either side of you, just in case you must swerve to avoid a collision.
  4. Hydroplane prevention: You can begin hydroplaning at speeds as low as 35 miles per hour. Once you are hydroplaning, you will generally feel as if your steering has become floaty or light, and it means you are technically driving on the surface of the water, not the road itself. If this happens, steadily take your foot off the accelerator, and if you must apply the brake, ever-so-gently press the brake pedal down to allow the weight of the car to come back to the front tires again.
  5. Rainy weather maintenance: If your area’s 10-day weather forecast predicts heavy rain on the horizon, see if you can get some maintenance done on your car before it comes. Windshield wiper replacement, tire pressure adjustments, headlight checks, and so on can do a world of good in preparing you for the slippery roads ahead.

When Preparation Can’t Prevent It

Sometimes you can prepare yourself for the rainy weather to the highest degree and still get into a car accident. As mentioned before, you cannot control the drivers around you, so if they aren’t taking the rain seriously, they might easily skid out of control and crash into you. If this happens, you should take legal action to set things right.

Call 985.796.2245 to connect with Anderson & Boutwell. Our Tangipahoa Parish personal injury attorneys have more than 60 years of collective experience dealing with all manners of injury cases, including car accidents throughout Louisiana. Get your free case evaluation today to begin.