Washington gets a lot of rain and snow. The worst part is that they come about around the same period, that is, from October to March. This makes driving extremely dangerous as the roads become slippery and visibility reduces. But there are some tips you can keep in mind to stay safe.
Common risks when driving in rain and snow
The main risk when driving in the rain is hydroplaning. This occurs when car tires encounter more water than they can scatter. Thus the thin film of water that forms between the road and the tires makes the vehicle slide, losing control and possibly leading to an accident.
Driving in snow is also risky because of the slippery roads, reduced visibility due to the snowflakes and potentially poor traction with the road surface. The risk of sliding increases when there’s a layer of ice on the road or if it was recently plowed.
The most dangerous condition
Rain causes more motor vehicle accidents than snow, as hydroplaning can occur suddenly and without warning. Also, most people are less used to driving in the rain compared to snow, so they may not be able to react quickly enough in case of an emergency. However, both scenarios present hazardous conditions that require careful driving skills and knowledge of how to operate your vehicle in such conditions.
Tips to stay safe when driving in Washington
If your vehicle has cruise control, it’s best to turn it off when driving through rain or snow. This is because it can cause your car to accelerate suddenly, leading to potential accidents.
The safest speed is slow in both rain and snow because your tires need time to grip the road surface. Also, consider keeping a safe distance between you and the car in front of you, as it takes longer for your vehicle to stop when driving on slippery roads.
Additionally, ensure that your lights are always turned on. This will help improve visibility and allow other drivers to spot you easily from afar.
It’s a good idea to ensure that your insurance coverage is up to date and you adhere to all the traffic laws and regulations, especially at this time when accident cases are more common. Since Washington is a no-fault auto insurance state, if you cause an accident, you will pay for the other party’s damages.