The weather in Kansas City is looking a little rough and stormy this weekend, so I’m offering up what safety advice I have, as well as any comments you guys posted on my Facebook page
, concerning driving in the rain!
For the most part, your (very helpful!) comments suggested keeping your headlights on, keeping your wipers on, driving more slowly than you normally would, and keeping a bubble of space between your car and the car in front of you. Very great and very safe advice — thanks so much!
Now to expound on your advice, as well as some of my own!
1. Headlights on:
Yes, it’s easier to see when your lights are on, not only when it’s nighttime, but also in foggy or overcast weather. BUT it’s also important to not just consider your own car, but other cars as well. Keeping your headlights on allows other cars to see you better.
2. Keep your personal space:
This is important, especially
during rainstorms. With water on the road everything is a lot more slick, meaning it takes quite a bit longer to do anything, namely stop. It’s recommended to keep five cars’ space between you and the car in front of you. Also, keep an eye not only on the car’s brake lights in front of you, but also a few cars ahead as well. That way it’s easier to know when people are stopping.
The first time I ever hydroplaned, I had no idea what was going on, and it was the scariest thing. “Hydroplaning
occurs when water on the roadway accumulates in front of your vehicle’s tires faster that the weight of your vehicle can push it out of the way. The water pressure can cause your car to rise up and slide on top of a thin layer of water between your tires and the road.” To avoid hydroplaning, it’s important to not make any sudden movements; stop sooner and start slower. That will prevent skidding as well!
4. 20/20 vision:
If it’s foggy or chilly out, make sure you hit your windshield defroster so as to avoid any obstructed vision. Perfect vision through your windshield is a number one priority when driving in the rain!
5. Windshield wipers:
Make sure your wipers are in shipshape! As soon as you start noticing signs of them becoming streaky or ineffective, it’s time to get new ones! This goes back to having clear, unobstructed vision while driving.
6. No cruise for you:
Cruise control isn’t recommended while driving in the rain. Keeping it on means your car is focused simply on keeping that speed up. Keeping your car on cruise control means you aren’t fully focused on your own speed, and it might draw your attention elsewhere.
7. Know your limits:
If the rain is really coming down, don’t be ashamed to pull over and wait out the rain. I’ve been in some crazy rainstorms, and yes, I’ve pulled over before because I just didn’t feel safe driving. No one is going to judge you for staying safe.
Be careful out on the road, folks!