According to the U.S Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (USDOT FHA), an average of 5,748,000 traffic collisions occur each year, and nearly 1,259,000 of them are weather-related (rain, snow, ice, etc.); 73% on wet pavement and 46% during rainfall. So it is by no surprise that this generation of licensed drivers are finally starting to understand the seriousness of remaining safe and alert while driving in adverse weather conditions. If you are uncomfortable with driving in wet weather, or have an adolescent driver in your home, it will help to review 3 critical wet-weather driving tips below. Continue reading to do just that!
Routine Maintenance and Care
The most effective method for keeping your vehicle safe to operate and reliable under all conditions is routine maintenance. Most car maintenance should be carried out by a licensed mechanic since they have the knowledge and equipment to do so professionally. But there are many things you can do on your own to ensure your vehicle is in tip-top shape. This includes windshield wiper and fluid replacement, coolant refills, tire inspections, light inspections, proper fuel selection, and more.
Your car owners’ manual will have your specific make and model vehicle’s factory scheduled maintenance plan and guidelines laid out for you. If you do not have your owners’ manual, simply download one for free online. Things like fluid flushes and refills, brake inspections and pad replacements, tire tread checks and pressure inspections, tire rotations and balances, and more are all professional services that can drastically increase your safety while driving in wet weather.
Do Not Use Cruise Control
Most cars these days come with cruise control settings. But it is strongly encouraged to only use cruise control when you are driving a long-distance on one road, on a clear and dry day. You should avoid using cruise control at night as well, even in good weather. Since wet roads and windshields can cause a vehicle to react differently under sudden circumstances, it is not safe to have it set to cruise. You want to be able to drive defensively in case of an unexpected obstruction, pedestrian, or vehicle.
Drive Slower and Allow Space
In drivers’ education, they taught you to keep one car length’s distance between you and the vehicle in front of you while on the road. And in dry, clear conditions, this rule is great; but for wet weather driving, you need to slow it down a bit and keep more distance than you normally would. Wet roads and tires cause vehicles to require more time to come to a complete stop, and sudden stops in wet weather can cause cars to lose control or skid. While driving in wet weather, take your time, reduce your speed, and keep at least 2 car lengths distance in front of you.
Statistic Source: FHWA