Tips for Driving in the Rain

There are more than 950,000 automobile accidents every single year due to wet pavements. No matter where you live, you must know how to negotiate wet roads, poor visibility, heavy winds, and understand how to determine if it's safe enough to drive or not.

Aside from the obvious advice of using headlights, slowing down, and switching off cruise control, here are some essential tips for driving safely in the rain:

Stick to the middle

Heavy trucks and traffic can cause the roads to sag. This results in rising water and a higher chance of losing traction. Avoid the outside lanes where water pools and stick to the middle for the least water resistance.

Tread on safe ground

Follow another vehicle's tracks at a respectable distance. This lets you use the car in front to clear the resistance while gathering information from how they drive as well.

Stick to small and medium-sized vehicles. However, large vehicles like trucks can cause heavy splashing at their backs, which will make for a miserable ride if you're behind them.

Drive around standing water

Standing water results in hydroplaning. This is when you skid across the roads because you've entirely lost traction from too much water.

You only need 1/12 of an inch of rain on the ground and a speed of 35mph to hydroplane. If you do hydroplane, ease off the gas and never aggressively turn or slam the brakes. Change lanes to avoid standing water if needed.

Tire pressure is key

In bad rains, you want to step out to ascertain your tire pressure and treads. Over-inflated tires have less surface contract and lead to higher chances of hydroplaning.

Under-inflation can improve your grip and increase the tire's contact patch on the road. Different vehicles work differently with different tire pressure.

Account for wind pressure

Depending on where you live, heavy rains bring heavy winds that are more than capable of moving your vehicle. Provide a large berth to those around you, and look out for potholes and puddles while you drive. The wind direction is something you'll have to compensate for.

Don't get pushed unawares when a particularly bad gust nudges you. Otherwise, you may fall into a puddle and get stuck.