Driving in the rain can be dangerous. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rain-slicked roads cause more accidents than snow, sleet or fog. But rain happens, so how do you stay safe? If a heavy rainstorm hits and you have little to no visibility, you should always try to pull over safely to the side of the road, or preferably into a parking lot, until the rain subsides. But if pulling over is not a possibility, use these tips for driving safely on wet roads.
Take Your Time
When it starts to rain, decrease your speed. Going too fast is what causes people to lose control and hydroplane on slippery roads. Even if there are cars speeding past you, take your time and drive slowly and carefully. It is not worth risking your life; your safety and the safety of others on the road is more important than being on time.
Turn on Your Lights
Storms cause the sky to darken. If you mix dark skies with thick rain, it makes for limited visibility. Turning on your headlights will help other drivers see you, as well as increase your visibility while driving. In New Jersey it is the law that when your windshield wipers are on, your lights should be on as well.
Give Other Drivers More Space
Driving in the rain makes it more difficult to react quickly by stopping or swerving than in dry conditions. Add 1-2 extra car lengths in front of you, especially on the highway, to allow for extra time to brake. Following cars too closely in bad conditions can cause accidents and makes it more difficult for the person in front of you to drive safely.
Turn the Music Down
Loud music can be a distraction and while you're driving in the rain, you need to focus as much as possible. Lower the volume or turn it off completely. You can turn it back on when the skies clear.
Sometimes driving in the rain is unavoidable, so use these tips to stay safe on rainy days.