Driving in heavy rain requires extra vigilance. Many car accidents and personal injury claims can be attributed to wet pavement every year. As such, motorists need to be aware that road conditions are different in stormy weather and their driving habits must be adjusted accordingly. Here are a few essential safety tips to remember should you encounter a downpour while behind the wheel.
How to Drive Safely in the Rain
1. Reduce Your Speed
Posted speed limits are based on ideal driving conditions. Wet roads are more dangerous and demand that you pay closer attention to your surroundings. Thus, it’s safer to slow down when it’s raining. This will give you more time to react if you begin to lose control of your vehicle or unexpectedly come upon a hazardous situation.
2. Avoid Standing Water
Driving through standing water increases the likelihood of hydroplaning, which means your tires will no longer have traction on the road. In turn, your vehicle will start sliding. If you approach a deep puddle, it’s best to maneuver around it cautiously or turn around and go a different route. If you do find yourself hydroplaning, take your foot off of the gas pedal and gently steer straight until you’re back in control.
3. Increase Your Following Distance
Make sure you leave extra space between your vehicle and the car in front of you when navigating wet roads. Slick pavement calls for additional stopping distance, and last-minute braking can cause a rear-end collision that results in a personal injury. It’s especially vital to keep a safe distance from commercial trucks and buses, as the spray from their large tires will further reduce your visibility.
4. Keep Your Headlights On
Visibility decreases significantly in rainy weather. It’s not only difficult for you to see the road and other motorists around you, but it’s also difficult for them to see you. Keep your headlights on day and night whenever it’s raining to make sure fellow drivers are aware of your presence. It’s important to avoid using your high beams, so you don’t temporarily blind oncoming motorists.
By following these safety guidelines, you will reduce your risk for an accident and ensure you can’t be held responsible for contributory negligence should someone else’s careless behavior cause a collision. If you were hurt due to another motorist’s negligence, contact The Gil Law Firm to discuss your legal options. They will help gather the evidence you need to prove liability and walk you through the complex process of filing a personal injury claim. For nearly 20 years, they have remained committed to protecting the rights of injury victims throughout Alabama, Georgia, and Florida. Call the Dothan, AL-based firm at (334) 673-0100 to schedule a case review, or visit them online to learn more about their expertise in personal injury law.