5 Tips to Drive Safer in the Rain

April is more than just the first official month of spring – it’s also Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which seems particularly fitting considering April marks the beginning of Miami’s rainy season. While driving in the rain may not seem like a big deal, but data shows that inclement weather correlates with higher rates of car crashes; wet pavement and rainy conditions contribute to up to 78% of all weather-related collisions and 76% of fatalities.

So, this April, stay smart when it’s raining by following these 5 driving safety tips.

 

#1: Check Those Tires

During rainy conditions, proper tire tread depth can be as important to a driver as good visibility. A tread depth of any less than 4/32” increases the risk of hydroplaning (when tires spin on water, not the ground), which can be frightening and dangerous to everyone on the road.

You may be asking yourself, “How do I find my tread depth?” Check out this informative video for some quick tips, and if you find your tread to be too shallow, we welcome you to swing into our Miami Hyundai Service department to buy a new set.

Tire pressure also plays a part in your safety during rainy conditions. When making contact with the road after hydroplaning, the tires seek to continue in the direction they’re facing. If your car has an underinflated tire, it may force you into a skid or to veer off the road. Instead of risking hydroplaning further, make sure your tires are inflated to the proper PSI as suggested on the door of your vehicle, and always perform annual tire rotations and alignments at your trusted Miami car dealership.

#2: Install New Windshield Wiper Blades

Many of us have driven through torrential downpours—you know, the type of rain that unequivocally answers the question: “should I pull over?” Yeah…those situations aren’t fun, nor are they safe.

According to recent data, poor visibility during rainy weather caused more accidents than those where drivers fell asleep at the wheel. That’s another astounding fact, but perhaps one that isn’t all too surprising when you consider how many drivers underestimate slick conditions.

Although you can’t avoid Mother Nature, you can improve your visibility. We recommend installing new windshield wipers at the beginning of every spring. Improving your vision during poor weather can cut accident rates in half, and there’s no better way to do that than by replacing those worn-out wipers. Go to wipers123.com to find your vehicle’s wiper size, or simply head to your local service center or auto parts store to get new wiper blades.

#3: Always use your headlights.

If your wipers are on, your headlights should be on, too. It improves visibility for other drivers, not necessarily just for yourself, and is a great help when rain does come in heavy doses. In fact, Florida law demands that headlights must be on “during any rain, smoke, or fog.”

Another helpful tip is to check your headlights, brake lights, and turn signal lights each April to ensure they’re operational.

#4: Avoid cruise control.

Let’s be honest: cruise control is probably the greatest car technology to ever be invented. But when the roads are slick with rain and oil, cruise control can become – warning: dad joke incoming – more like lose control. See, when cruise control is active, the engine is engaged and attempts to maintain speed, no matter the conditions of the road or its slope.

Consider a situation where you’ve hydroplaned; normally, the recommended practice is to release the accelerator and slow down with the anticipation of clear roadway ahead. With cruise control on, once the car regains traction with asphalt, you could experience unexpected acceleration. And because every action has an equal or opposite reaction, you’ll probably find yourself slipping even further out of control.  

#5: Keep your distance & stay aware.

Tailgating is considered by many to be one of the most deplorable driving tendencies. And when it’s rainy out, tailgating is just downright stupid. In fact, during bad weather, drivers are recommended to distance themselves from the car in front of them by four to six car lengths. With the risk of hydroplaning much higher in poor weather, giving yourself that extra time to brake could be the difference between higher insurance premiums and a slight increase in heart rate.

Even with the Hyundai SmartSense covering your back, you should always stay aware slow down to match the flow of traffic.

Of course, nothing is safer than staying in with a nice book and warm cup of tea. But who’s got time for that? Instead, make use of our five tips to drive safer in the rain and consider searching for a safe new Hyundai at Braman Hyundai in Miami, FL. Visit us at 2001 Northeast 2nd Ave to browse our selection of new vehicles for sale, or contact a member of our Hyundai sales team at (786) 623-4261 to set up a test drive. 

Sources:

https://ops.fhwa.dot.gov/weather/q1_roadimpact.htm
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.217.html
http://www.iii.org/issue-update/auto-crashes
http://driving-tests.org/beginner-drivers/how-to-prevent-recover-hydroplaning
http://www.edmunds.com/car-safety/tips-and-techniques-for-driving-in-rain.html
https://www.hyundaiusa.com/why-hyundai/smartsense.aspx
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