April showers, bring May flowers! That’s what they say, anyway. Only time will tell if it will hold true this spring. Regardless, it is Iowa and we will, inevitably, encounter rainy days! Did you know that driving on a rainy day is more dangerous than driving on a snowy one? It’s true! When the rain starts to fall and pavement is wet, your likelihood of a crash is higher than during wintry conditions like snow, sleet and ice, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). We may still be waiting on the April rain, but do you know how you can drive more safely when the wet weather hits? Here are 5 LOF-Xpress™ approved tips!
- Get your car in shape for the wet weather ahead.
Are your windshield wipers intact? Is your windshields smeared or streaked? Do your headlights, taillights, and break lights all function? Are your tires inflated and rotated; and do they have a good tread depth? Doing proactive maintenance prior to rainy season can help you avoid wet weather dangers. And, of course, we’re here to help! Let our trained technicians at LOF-Xpress™ ensure that your car is good to go before the spring showers start!
- Avoid cruise control!
It may be easy to go on auto pilot when you’re on the freeway and driving at a steady speed. But cruise control should not be used during wet conditions, since it limits your ability to react and adapt to suddenly changing conditions.
- Give yourself space and time!
Speed limit signs are designed for ideal conditions, which means driving when you have little traffic and good visibility. That’s hardly the environment you’re driving in when it’s raining! We recommend letting up on the accelerator and allowing for more time to get to your destination. This will also give you a little extra time, in case you need to make an emergency maneuver, like a swerve or sudden stop.
- Beware of hydroplaning.
That’s the technical term for what occurs when your tires are getting more traction on the layer of water on the road than on the road itself—the result is that your car begins to slide uncontrollably. It’s easy enough to hydroplane: All you need is one-twelfth of an inch of rain on the road and a speed of more than 35 miles per hour. If you start to hydroplane, let off the accelerator slowly and steer straight until you regain control.
- Remember that severe weather demands your undivided attention.
Reduce any possible distractions by turning the radio down or turning off that phone to keep your attention fully on the road. Keep in mind that sometimes the best driving decision you can make is to stay off the road completely until the weather clears.