We hear a lot of reminders about safe driving in the snow and ice, especially here in the Cleveland area. We don’t talk as much about driving safely in the rain, though it is equally important. Now that spring is here, we’re at a greater risk of heavy downpours and strong rain storms. It is a good time for a refresh on safe driving in the rain.
Reduce your distractions. Driving in any severe weather, including heavy rain, will require your complete attention. While you should never be driving while distracted, make sure to reduce any potential distractions around you—turn down the radio, don’t take calls through Bluetooth, etc. Make sure your complete attention is on the road.
Make sure your lights are on. No matter the time of day, turn on your lights. This helps other cars on the road see you. Some states, like Ohio, require headlights be used whenever your wipers are in use or when visibility is less than 1,000 feet.
Slow down. If you drive too fast in the rain, you are at risk of hydroplaning, which happens when your vehicle’s tires travel on a thin layer of water rather than actually gripping the surface of the road. When you are hydroplaning, you can easily lose control of your vehicle as steering and braking are much more difficult. Again, the best thing you can do in severe weather conditions is slow down.
Give vehicles around you more space. Keep in mind that if you are having difficulty seeing other vehicles on the road through a heavy downpour, they are also having difficulty seeing you. Do not follow closely behind vehicles. Make sure they have more space—and more time—to react to any changes in traffic, like an abrupt slow-down.
Stay safe when you are driving in the rain this spring!