How to Drive in the Rain

Life Saving Tips

With all the rain we have had this winter and spring, it may be hard Car windshield in traffic jam during rainto believe that Florida’s rainy season has not even started yet (May-October). Driving in the rain can be dangerous or even deadly. Too often drivers fail to consider the dangers of rain and, therefore, do not change their driving habits to fit the hazardous conditions they now face.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, there are, on average, 1,235,000 weather-related crashes with 418,000 injuries and 5,376 deaths per year. The vast majority of most weather-related crashes happen on wet pavement and during rainfall: 70% on wet pavement and 46% during rainfall.

DO NOT becomes a rainy-day statistic. Here are some tips to reduce your chances of having an accident:

  • Prepare your car for rain – check your tires, check your brakes, make sure windshield wipers are in working order, and make sure headlights, tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals are working properly.
  • Know the road – take a moment to consider the route you will take. Avoid low lying areas that are prone to flooding.
  • Stay focused – keep your eyes on the road and pay attention to your driving only. No distractions!
    * Turn on your headlights – it is the law in all states. Please note – it is against Florida law to have your hazard lights on while you’re driving.
  • Turn off cruise control – take control of your vehicle and the accelerator.
  • Slow down – driving too fast can make you lose traction and your tires will not be able to grip the road. Avoid slamming on your brakes.
  • Leave room – stay at least 5 or more seconds behind the vehicle in front of you and keep space on all sides of you, so you do not get boxed in and the spray will not reduce your visibility.
  • Stay in middle lane – water tends to pool in the outside lanes.
  • Use extra caution when merging lanes – drive defensively and stay alert.
  • Use defrosters – windows can often mist up in rain or high humidity impacting visibility.  If your vehicle has no AC or defroster, open your window side windows slightly to get air moving.
  • Turn around – if you see deep standing water or moving water, do not attempt to drive through, turn around and find another safer route.
  • Be courteous – watch for and avoid splashing pedestrians or bicyclists.
  • Be patient – stay calm and remember to take some breaths.

If you feel uncomfortable driving in the rain, wait until the weather improves or consider delaying your trip or commute. In some cases, you may need to pull off the road to a safe place until the weather subsides.