Rain is usually a wonderful thing for drought-stricken California — but it can be dangerous on the roads. The American Automobile Association (AAA) reports that rainy and wet roads lead to nearly 1.2 million crashes across the country each year. Anxious drivers, low visibility and poor road conditions can all contribute to hazardous driving. What are some tips to keep in mind to drive safely in the rain?
Five tips to drive safely
While driving in the rain might seem like common sense, it can quickly become dangerous. Freshening up on a few simple tips for driving in rainy conditions can be helpful before heading out:
- Take preventative measures. All drivers should make sure their vehicle is well-equipped to handle driving in the rain. Check that windshield wipers and all lights are functioning properly, and that the tires of the vehicle have the proper treads.
- Focus on the roads. Staying alert and focused on driving is one of the most important things you can do. Stay clear of any distractions and proceed with caution.
- Turn on your headlights. California requires drivers to turn on their headlights in “inclement weather.” This can help your vehicle remain visible to others and help increase your own visibility of your surroundings.
- Slow down. In rainy weather, the speed limit might even be too fast. Assess the situation and safely adjust your speed. Slowing down and avoiding hard braking or sharp turns can also reduce the risk of hydroplaning.
- Take extra caution at night. Lastly, rainy weather at night can lead to even lower visibility. Leave extra room between your vehicle and others and beware of the glare of oncoming traffic, which can be amplified by a rainy windshield.
When accidents occur
Despite careful driving and your best efforts to stay safe, accidents can still occur due to weather or road conditions beyond your control or the negligence of another driver. If you have been in an accident, understand your rights and seek legal guidance.