Driving In The Rain
Written by greg on May 4, 2013
As we get closer to the rainy season in the greater Houston area, some thoughts about safe driving in the rain seem appropriate.
Each year, Houston has numerous various serious and even fatal car accidents that occur because drivers don’t allow for the dangers of driving in the rain. First and foremost, the driver should slow down substantially in the rain. Driving on the highways of Houston it is often difficult to slow down as much as one should in the rain.
Each hazard has its own situations when driving during a thunderstorm. Visibility is extremely limited in heavy rain and that factor alone can be a very serious danger. Wiper blades should be replaced to ensure that you have the best working blades available. If you’re driving an older vehicle, technology has improved and more efficient offer blades may be available as a replacement.
Do not follow large trucks closely as they throw up mist and spray which makes visibility worse. Turning on your headlights will also help make your car visible to others. Do not drive out of your vision. In other words if visibility is very limited, your speed should be radically reduced, or even better, you should pull off the road when it is safe to do so in a safe area. Better to arrive later than not at all.
Hydroplaning is also a very serious danger in a thunderstorm. It is helpful to stay in the middle lanes or the higher lane of the highway as water tends to accumulate in the outside or lower level lanes. Increase your safe driving distance and follow the three second rule when driving in the rain.
It is also helpful to drive in the “tracks” of the car in front of you to further reduce the odds of hydroplaning. If you can slow down gradually try to use your foot off the accelerator as opposed to your breaks to slowdown. If you must brake, pump your brakes lightly.
Hydroplaning occurs because three main factors contribute they are:
* Tire tread depth
* Depth of water
When the tread of your tire does not make adequate contact with the roadway hydroplaning is a byproduct of that phenomenon. If you find yourself hydroplaning or skidding in a thunderstorm, do not brake or turn suddenly, ease your foot off the gas and slow down gradually. If you skid, remember to turn your steering wheel in the direction of the skid.
For more information on safe driving in the rain click here.
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