Driving in Washington means you will certainly encounter your share of rainy, wet days on the road. It’s easy to take this common weather condition for granted. But the truth is that rain contributes to an average of 556,151 crashes per year, with thousands of people seriously injured or killed.
Given this, we wanted to share some best practices for driving in rainy weather.
- Watch your speed. Slowing your speed is important anytime you’re driving with reduced visibility. You’ll be able to adjust to unexpected standing water or a pedestrian without having to brake hard, and risk hydroplaning.
- Avoid sharp, sudden maneuvers. Wet pavement means less friction between your tires and the road. A sharp maneuver, such as a sudden turn, could cause you to skid or lose control of your vehicle.
- Check your tires. Monitor your tires for balding tread or other defects.
- Replace your windshield wipers regularly. Wipers are inexpensive and can make a big difference for visibility. You could also consider using a product that helps the rain “bead” up on your windshield instead of streak.
- Use care around standing water. Many drivers get into trouble when they improperly estimate the depth of a puddle. When in doubt, go around or turn around.
- Drive in the middle lanes. If possible, drive in the middle lanes, where rain is less likely to collect.
- Turn on your headlights. Even if it’s daylight, turn on your headlights to make your vehicle more visible to other drivers.
- Use care around big trucks, busses, and other large vehicles. Keep a safe distance or, if safe to do so, pass large vehicles. The spray they generate can impact your visibility.
- Avoid risky driving behaviors. You already know that you should always wear a seatbelt and never drive drunk or distracted. But mix any of these behaviors with inclement weather, and your chances for being in a serious crash only increase.
Need more driving tips? See these posts on Winter Driving Tips and Spring Driving Tips.
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