You have likely driven in the rain before; however, navigating in a heavy downpour is a different experience. The risks in weather conditions like this are much more extensive, and if you are not careful, you may be involved in a serious accident.
At The Burkett Law Firm, we want to ensure you can navigate your vehicle safely, even in heavy rain. Here are some tips to help you if you find yourself in these conditions.
1. Reduce Your Speed
One of the most important things you can do to remain safe in heavy rain is to reduce your speed. When it rains, the roads become slick, which increases the distance you need to stop. Adjust your speed to have enough time to stop at traffic lights and signs.
The posted speed limits are for ideal driving conditions. In most cases, driving in the rain is different. If other vehicles are driving faster than you, stay in the right lane so the faster vehicles can pass safely.
2. Turn Your Vehicle’s Lights On
It is smart to turn your headlights on when using your windshield wipers.
Rain makes it more difficult for other people on the road to see you, especially if you have a silver or white car. Turning on your headlights increases your visibility and reduces the potential of an accident.
3. Take Steps to Avoid Hydroplaning
The most likely time to hydroplane is during the first few minutes of rain. This is when the roads form a slick oil and water layer.
If you can wait to get on the roads for a bit, the rain will wash away the oil and other things that were stirred up, making the roads safer. While this is true, it does not mean the risk of hydroplaning is eliminated.
If your car starts to hydroplane, take your foot off the gas and steer your wheel in the direction you want your vehicle to go. Do not jerk your steering wheel or hit the brakes. Doing this may cause you to lose control of your vehicle.
4. Avoid Driving Through Standing Water
Only a few inches of standing water can cause you to lose control of your vehicle. If you drive through standing water, your vehicle may hydroplane or damage the electrical components and engine if water gets inside them.
There is no way to know how deep puddles or standing water is. Also, it takes just about 12 inches of water to carry your vehicle away. Experts recommend not driving through water if you cannot see the painted lines on the road.
5. Avoid Driving if It Is Not Safe
If the rain is so heavy that you cannot see or handle your vehicle, pull over and wait for it to subside. For flash flood warnings, try to get to higher ground, leave your vehicle if needed, and get someone indoors.
You should never attempt to drive through flood waters or in conditions you do not feel safe in.
6. Avoid Driving on the Edge of the Road
Some roads are designed to be slightly higher in the middle, with the edges sloping down. This helps the water run off rather than pooling on the surface. Avoid riding on the side of the road since puddles are likely to form here. This is not with all roads, but something to be aware of.
7. Check the Brakes
When driving in heavy rain, you are bound to go through puddles. This can cause your brakes to fail when you need them.
Tap your brake lightly each time you go through a puddle to ensure this does not happen. Doing this will help dry the rotors and ensure you can stop safely.
8. Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Get to Your Destination
If you must drive in heavy rain, be sure you have plenty of time to reach your destination. You need to drive slower and make sure you remain safe.
Plan and check the weather. This will ensure you are prepared to stay safe despite adverse weather conditions.
Dealing with a Weather-Related Accident
You have legal rights if you are involved in an accident partly or fully caused by bad weather. If another driver acted negligently in these conditions, it might be possible to file a claim against them. Contact our office to talk to our attorneys about your options. We offer a free initial consultation to discuss your situation. At The Burkett Law Firm, we understand how stressful car accidents can be. We will help you navigate the legal process.