Crucial things to know when driving in the rain

Michael Rey M. Cortes

THE rain could be fun for some people. But for drivers, encountering a torrential downpour can be one of the toughest circumstances when they are driving. Although the summer season is coming, people cannot expect it to be all bright and sunny. The weather these days could shift anytime in the day; better yet, one should be prepared for all weather circumstances.

While it is not advisable to drive in a heavy downpour, there will always be a time that we will be required to drive at some point. In stormy conditions, drivers might find it hard to see other vehicles, road signs and even the road. Fog, and water splashes can also make it more difficult to see. Sitting behind the steering wheel with a streaming wet windshield could be dangerous; if drivers know safety measures in driving, it may not be a white-knuckling experience at all.

Here are some crucial things a driver should know when driving in the rain.

Pull over and wait until the weather improves

Don’t take the risk and gamble with death. Heavy downpours could happen all of a sudden. Pull over to the side of the road and wait until the rain moderates. If it is an emergency, you may still drive but observe the next precautionary measures.

Keep calm and slow down

Drivers adhere to a specific speed limit, but when driving in bad weather conditions, they should drive considerably slower than usual. When roads are wet, dangerous phenomena such as hydroplaning happen. It occurs when a layer of water builds between the wheels of the vehicle and the road surface. The vehicle will lose traction and ignore responses from control inputs.

Always turn on your headlights

Let there be light! Turning on your headlights is a good way to let other drivers know that you are there considering the poor visibility. Please note that other drivers’ windshields or vision may not be as good as yours.

Activate your windshield wipers

This may be common sense, but some drivers forget to turn them on. Some cars can change the speed of their wipers to clear the streaming water on the windshield. In some cases, your windshield might become foggy; use a rag to wipe out the window.

Keep a safe distance from other vehicles

Give sufficient distance from the car in front of you; you might have difficulties in stopping your car when the road is wet.

Don’t do heavy breaks

Try not to stomp on the brake abruptly. Take your foot off the accelerator slower than you would normally do before turning the vehicle into a full stop. Avoid using cruise control to focus on the gas and brake at the same time.