When the rain begins to fall, the last place you want to find yourself is behind the wheel of your car. However, as a resident of Seattle, this is a way of life.
Even though driving in wet weather is stressful, there are some tips you can follow to improve your safety and minimize the risk of an accident. Here’s what you should do:
- Slow down: Even if you do nothing else, this is the one thing that you should always do when the rain begins to fall. The faster you’re moving, the greater chance you have of losing control of your vehicle, such as the result of hydroplaning. There’s nothing wrong with driving slower than the speed limit in wet conditions.
- Use your headlights: Even if it’s the middle of the day, you should use your headlights to increase visibility. This also makes it easier for other drivers to see you.
- Keep both hands on the wheel: Wind gusts often accompany rainstorms. It’s critical to keep both hands on the wheel to protect against a gust knocking your vehicle out of its lane of travel.
- Don’t use cruise control: It’s convenient on the highway, but it’s dangerous in wet weather. For example, if you maintain a steady speed through standing water, there’s a greater risk of hydroplaning. Turn off cruise control until the pavement is dry.
- Beware of pedestrians: You have so much going on around you that it’s easy to lose track of pedestrians, such as those who are in a hurry to get out of the rain. In addition to other vehicles, watch for people who are crossing the road or bicyclists who are driving in close proximity to your vehicle.
Even if you have many years of experience driving in the rain, that doesn’t make it any easier, especially when you have to contend with other drivers who don’t take as much caution as they should.
If a negligent driver causes a car accident, move out of traffic, stay in your vehicle and call for help should it be necessary. These steps will lead you to receive medical treatment, file an insurance claim and hold the negligent driver responsible for their actions.