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Best Practices for Driving on Wet, Rainy Roads

Did you know that thousands of car accidents each year are caused by wet driving conditions?

Wet roads, low visibility, and the possibility that the puddle ahead may be deeper than you think all contribute to dangerous driving conditions. This is why both you and your car should be prepared for wet roads. So, what can you do to stay safe?

Avoid Puddles

Puddles can easily cause your car to hydroplane, or skim over the surface of the water, which causes you to lose control. Losing control of your vehicle puts you at risk of colliding with another vehicle, pedestrian, or object. In situations where you need to drive through or partially through a puddle, slow down.

Keep Your Distance

It is important to maintain a safe following distance from the vehicle in front of you, but it’s especially important in bad weather. When you keep your distance, you will have more time to react to any potential hazards that may come up.

Try to maintain a clear space on at least one side of your vehicle whenever you are on a highway or a road with multiple lanes. By doing so, you will be able to quickly veer left or right if something unexpected happens in front of you and you do not have time to brake.

Pro-tip: Drive in the middle lane during rainy weather because water tends to accumulate in the outside lanes.

Do Not Use Cruise Control

Avoid using cruise control when it is raining or if the road is wet. The vehicle’s computer(s) are unable to recognize that pavement covered in water may cause your car to hydroplane. The car will maintain speed and throttle no matter the conditions. Although the traction and stability control will respond when something goes wrong, it is best to avoid placing yourself in that situation in the first place.

Keep Your Windows From Fogging Up

Because of the temperature differences inside and outside the car, windows tend to fog up when it rains which can reduce visibility. To keep yourself and others safe and prevent accidents, simply defrost your car windows. For a quick fix, use the Defrost mode. This will automatically engage air conditioning and a high fan speed, directing warm, dry air to the windshield and often the front side windows. This can heat the glass to aid in clearing snow and ice while removing condensation from the inside. If the problem persists, you might want to buy a windshield defogger and cleaner.

Turn On Your Headlights, But Not Your High Beams

Turning on your vehicle's headlights can help other drivers see you not just at night but also during bad weather. While many modern vehicles have automatic running lights, you should activate your headlights when using the wipers so that the taillights will also turn on. All four corners of the vehicle can be seen when both the headlights and the backlights are lit.

You do not need to turn on your bright lights, though, as the brighter light will merely bounce back into your eyes from wet surfaces and annoy other drivers.

Beware of Hydroplaning

When your car hydroplanes, it drives over the water without making contact with the ground. This can be a risky situation because the driver has little to no control over the vehicle and little to no grip on the road. If you ever find yourself in this type of situation, keep your cool, let off the brakes and do not move the steering wheel. Instead, wait for your car to slow down and the tires to reattach to the road surface.

If you or a loved one has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, reach out to the dedicated personal injury attorneys at Hirsch Andrade, LLP. Call us at (203) 331-8888 or visit our website for a free consultat


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