We may still be in San Diego, but even paradise gets a little rain. With the rainy season upon us (and those menacing rain clouds overhead more frequently now), it's time for a refresh on how to safely drive around in the rain. Any San Diego driver who's ever been on a freeway when it's raining can attest that traffic seems to slow to a crawl or stop completely, sometimes even when it's just sprinkling. Frustrating, right? Hopefully everyone will follow these tips and we can all get to work and home safely.
- Stick to the speed limit: Rainy weather is not the time for speeding no matter how late you are because that's how accidents happen. You don't need to drive extra slowly, either, unless there is torrential rain, or you could get rear-ended. If it's the first rain of the season the roads will be extra slick with oil coming out of the cracks, so be extra careful.
- Stay out of the fast lane: There will inevitably be some drivers who seem to completely disregard rain, so let them have the fast lane. Driving 50-65 MPH in the first lane when someone behind you clearly wants to go faster will just cause road rage and won't get either of you to your destinations any faster.
- Keep your distance: It's harder to stop suddenly on wet roads, and when visibility is reduced you're smart to keep a good amount of space between your car and the car in front of you. If they have to stop suddenly you don't want to be responsible for rear-ending them because you couldn't stop in time. This is also a good way to prevent a small collision from getting worse.
- Avoid hydroplaning: If your tires have proper tread they'll grip the road through the water for a secure feeling. When your tires lose contact with the road and instead slide on top of the water, it's called hydroplaning and it's very scary. Prevent hydroplaning by driving slowly and carefully, especially around a curve. It's also a smart idea to make sure your tires are fully inflated before getting on the road.
- Don't text!: Distracted driving is dangerous (and illegal) in perfect driving conditions, but rain makes everything worse. Answering that text or scarfing that burrito are just not worth risking a collision.
- Use your headlights: The law is to turn on your headlights any time you need to use your windshield wipers. So even if your wipers are on intermittent for some misting rain turn them on.
- Prepare your car ahead of time: The best advice for driving in the rain is to know your car's condition before getting on the road. This means to make sure your headlights and tail lights are working, your windshield wipers are in good condition, your car's air circulation system works, your brakes are in good condition, and your tires are inflated and have good tread. The technicians at Convoy Auto Repair can help you get your car into top winter driving condition before the next rains come. Check out our monthly car service specials for a great deal.
Image courtesy of Edmunds.