Melbourne, FL -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/06/2012 -- Researchers have found that as many as 25% of all car accidents happen in bad weather; they have also discovered that more fatal crashes occur in the South, where both the rainfall totals and the population are high. However, in Florida, many people do not consider rain to be inclement weather. While people often stay home and avoid the roads in icy and snowy conditions, the roads and highways are usually just as busy during rain storms. It is important to remember that rain does cause dangerous driving conditions, and that you should always exercise caution when operating any vehicle in the rain. Here are some tips for driving safely when it is raining.
While you’re on the road:
- Do not use your cruise control function. Cruise control is designed to be used in “normal” driving conditions only, and is therefore not safe to use in the rain.
- Rain can impact pavement friction and vehicle performance, so drive a little bit more slowly than you normally would. Brake and steer with a delicate touch.
- Rain also affects visibility, so leave a good amount of distance between your car and the one ahead of you. This is especially true if you are behind a bus or truck, as their large tires can splash water onto your windshield.
- Turn on your headlights, even in daylight, whenever it is raining and/or overcast.
- Watch carefully for pedestrians. They can be difficult to see in the rain, and people sometimes try to run across streets and parking lots when it is raining.
- If it is raining so hard that you cannot see the car ahead of you, pull over to the side of the road and turn on your hazards until the rain lessens.
- Always use your turn signal before turning and changing lanes.
- If possible, stay toward the middle lanes. Water tends to pool on the sides of roads.
- Never drive through standing water, moving water, or floods. It can be very difficult to tell how deep water is from your car, and standing water can cause damage to your car’s electrical system, while moving water can sweep your car off the road.
- Try to use your brakes as little as possible. Simply take your foot off of the accelerator to slow down. When needed, tap your brakes gently.
- If your car hydroplanes, do not jerk your wheel. Slowly straighten your steering wheel and gently tap your breaks. If your car is equipped with an Anti-Lock Brake System, you may also apply light, constant pressure to your brakes.
- If your windows fog over, switch on your front and rear window defrosters. If your car has swiveling dashboard vents, adjust them so that the air flow strikes the upper edge of the side windows.
- Replace brittle or squeaky windshield wipers. Windshield wipers should be regularly replaced at least once per year.
- Check to make sure that your headlights, tail lights, and brake lights are working properly.
- Check to make sure that your tires have proper traction. Bald tires are a major hazard in rainy weather because they significantly reduce your traction on wet roadways and increase the likelihood of sliding or hydroplaning.
If you are involved in an auto accident in the rain, you will need to contact a car accident lawyer to seek the representation of an experienced attorney. Sinclair Law will fight to receive the compensation you deserve for damages and injuries.