It’s been a rainy winter for Garden City and the rest of Long Island. As such, we figured you could use a quick refresher on how to drive in the rain. We’ve gathered the best tips from around the web and made them available for you below.
Tip #1: Car Maintenance
If you see rain in the forecast, it’s a good time to check in on your car. Make sure your headlights and taillights are functional, test your windshield wipers, and consider replacing your tires if they have extensive wear and tear or appear threadbare.
Tip #2: Focus on Visibility
When it starts to rain and your visibility decreases, make sure to use the tools you have available in your vehicle. Turn on your headlights (but not your brights), use your windshield wipers, and use your front and rear defrosters to eliminate fog and maximize visibility.
Remember: New York State driving laws require you to use your headlights when visibility is less than 1,000 feet and whenever you use your windshield wipers to clear rain, snow, or sleet!
Tip #3: Think
For many people, driving is a habit that can be done almost subconsciously. When it’s raining, however, you should take extra care to focus on your surroundings and what you are doing behind the wheel. Drive with both hands on the steering wheel, as well. This can help you maximize control and minimize distractions.
You should also be aware that the first rain of the season is often the most dangerous. Accumulated engine oil and grease can make the roadway especially slippery.
Tip #4: Slow Down
Wet pavement reduces traction and makes your vehicle more difficult to handle, so you should adjust your speed accordingly. Further, speed limit signs are designed for ideal conditions, so you shouldn’t worry about going below the speed limit when visibility is bad! Never use cruise control while driving in the rain – your car’s automatic speed adjustments could cause or intensify hydroplaning.
Tip #4: Avoid Standing Water
Puddles can impair your visibility, cause you to hydroplane, and make your brakes less effective. They can also cover up potholes, debris, and other hazards on the roadway.
If you hydroplane, do not brake or turn the wheel abruptly. Instead, take your foot off the gas and keep your wheel straight until your car regains traction. If you have to brake, do so gently.
Tip #5: Follow the Tracks of the Car in Front of You – But not too Close!
When you drive in another vehicle’s tracks, you can avoid standing water and make sure slippery substances have been displaced. Nevertheless, you should always give yourself extra following distance when driving in adverse weather conditions. This can give you more time to stop, so you don’t have to slam on your brakes and help you prevent collisions.
Driving in the rain is dangerous, so if you can avoid doing so, you should. Some trips are necessary, but others can wait until the storm has passed. Additionally, driving carefully cannot always prevent an accident if another driver decides to drive negligently.
If you’ve been harmed by a careless driver, in the rain or any other conditions, please contact our attorneys at Foley Griffin today. We can help you get back on your feet after a car accident. All you have to do is call us at (888) 966-8480 or request a free consultation online.