I drove across 520 on Saturday in heavy rain, and the experience inspired me to make this post:
- As soon as you turn on your wipers, turn on your headlights. Day or Night! This will ensure that on-coming traffic can see you, and that you can see traffic ahead of you. It's actually the law here that if you have 500 feet or less visibility, you have to have your headlights on.
- In all sorts of rain, you can prevent skids by driving slowly and carefully, especially on curves. Steer and brake with a light touch. When you need to stop or slow, do not brake hard or lock the wheels and risk a skid. Maintain mild pressure on the brake pedal.
- Give extra space to the car infront of you. Tailgating is always bad, but it's even worse in the rain when braking is more difficult.
- Hydroplaning happens when water in front of your tires builds up faster than your car's weight can push it out of the way. The water pressure causes your car to rise up and slide on a thin layer of water between your tires and the road. If you find yourself hydroplaning, do not slam on the breaks! You will lose control of the vehicle! Step off the gas and apply mild pressure.
- Make turns more slowly to avoid skidding.
- Most roads are sloped so that rain falls off to the sides. So if you stay in the center of the road and the center of your lane within the road, that is the most dry position.
- Never use cruise control in the rain. Many cruise controls, even modern ones, don't take loss of traction into account when computing cruise control, so if you start slipping, the cruise control will start to accelerate!
- Wet roads are most dangerous the first rain after a dry period. All of the dirt and grease accumulated will combine with the water to make an extremely slick surface.
Do you have any rain driving tips of your own?