Summer is here, and with that means plenty of road trips – and if you live in an area that’s prone to rain, you might have more than your fair share of experience with sudden summer rainstorms. Summer rainstorms are more than just a light sprinkling of rain – they can be very intense downpours that lead to extremely dangerous situations on the road.
If you happen to be caught in one of these sudden summer rainstorms, here’s what you can do to maintain your safe driving:
- No matter how confident you may be in your driving skills, it pays to slow down. Slowing down or stopping on a wet road is much more difficult, which can pose a variety of dangerous situations should the car come to a sudden stop in front of you. No matter how good your tires might be, they won’t save you should you need to come to a quick stop from 70 mph in the rain.
- Slowly and safely merge to the middle lane in the highway. Rain puddles tend to form on the outer lanes, which could result in hydroplaning (when your wheels lock up and skid out of control).
- Try not to use your brakes to avoid this hydroplaning effect. If you need to slow down, take your foot off the accelerator until you’ve achieved your ideal speed.
- Don’t try to pass large trucks or buses. The spray from the larger vehicles can case your car to suddenly hydroplane and significantly reduce your visibility of the road.
- Turn your headlights on in the rain, but don’t use your high beams, as this can obscure your visibility should fog follow the rainstorm. If you want to ensure that the cars behind you can see you, consider driving with your emergency lights on.
- Avoid driving through puddles, especially if you can’t gauge the depth of the water. With that in mind, never drive through fast-flowing water, as this could sweep your car away.
If you find that it’s difficult to drive even with these safe driving tips, consider moving off to the emergency lane (ideally under a bridge or overpass) and waiting for the rain to pass altogether.
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