Tips for Driving in the Rain That Could Save Your Life and Car

No matter how many times we do it, driving in the rain can be stressful, and it can also be dangerous for you, your vehicle, and others sharing the roadways. In heavy rains or poorly irrigated streets, there are some tips and tricks that sound gimmicky but can save your car or your life. While some of these seem more obvious, others are easy to ignore, but if you want to keep your car running and want to stay on the safe side, these are some things to keep in mind next time you need to make a drive-in the rain.

If the road looks too flooded, don’t take it

Vehicles drive along a water-logged road during heavy monsoon rains
Vehicles drive along a water-logged road during heavy monsoon rains | PRAKASH SINGH, AFP, Getty Images

It is easy to continue to take the same route every day, but that doesn’t mean that your daily route is the best option in the rain. Depending on where you live and how well the roads and irrigation are maintained, the roads can become overflowed with rainwater, and you can’t always tell by looking at it how deep that water is. While it seems easier to brave the street and assume your car will be OK, it is always better to avoid roads that look just a little too flooded for several reasons. Driving through heavily flooded streets can not only damage your car, but it can also prevent your vehicle’s safety and mechanical systems, such as the brakes, from working properly.

Don’t overcorrect when hydroplaning

Cars drive through deep water on a flooded road
Cars drive through deep water on a flooded road | JUSTIN TALLIS, AFP, Getty Images

It only takes a bit of wet roadway to cause your vehicle to hydroplane — and, if you’ve ever experience hydroplaning, it can be rather scary, especially in traffic or at higher speeds. According to Geico, the best thing to do in case you start to lose control of your car is, rather than try to overcorrect your steering, try to get back on course by steering in the direction you want to go. It is important to know that it make take several attempts to get control of your car again once you begin to hydroplane, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.

Lower your speed in the rain

Cars drive through deep water on a flooded road
A car drives through deep water on a flooded road | JUSTIN TALLIS, AFP, Getty Images

While it can be frustrating to drive below the speed limit, one of the best things you can do when it starts to rain, especially in heavy rain conditions, is to lower your speed. This will help you in case of an emergency, such as if the car ahead of you begins to hydroplane or lose control and allow you to stop in a more timely manner. Besides that, it can also reduce your chances of an accident if you do hydroplane, as it is easier to correct the loss of steering control at lower speeds.

Some states offer special classes that you can take to hone your skills for driving in the rain and on wet roads, but most drivers don’t always learn these skills, which is part of the reason why accidents are more common in wet, rainy conditions. While you can’t control everyone else’s driving around you, the best thing is to slow down, stay alert, and avoid overly saturated and flooding roads.

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