While many drivers seem to be unaware, driving in rainy conditions presents hazards that can cause serious collisions. Driving habits that are dangerous to begin with are only magnified in the rain, and drivers who don’t adjust to the conditions put everyone on the road at risk.
Bad Driving Practices That Could Cause a Crash in Rainy Conditions
When it rains, visibility can be terrible—even worse in a torrential storm. Yet impatient and dangerous drivers continue these unsafe driving practices:
- Driving too fast. It takes longer to stop or make other adjustments on wet pavement, so it’s important that drivers reduce their speed and drive below the speed limit—not over it.
- Driving in outside lanes. Water tends to pool in the outside lanes, so it’s safest to drive in the middle ones—even if that means driving more slowly because of other cars.
- Failing to maintain a proper distance behind other vehicles. Safe drivers should leave a distance of three to four seconds between vehicles in normal conditions and increase the gap in poor weather conditions like rain.
- Tailgating large trucks or buses. The large tires of trucks and buses reduce a driver’s ability to see, especially when a motorist is following too closely. Drivers also need to be careful in passing trucks and buses because of the lack of visibility from spraying water.
- Failing to turn on headlights. Having headlights on is important not only so the driver can see better in the rain, but also so others can see him.
- Using cruise control. While cruise control can be useful in normal driving conditions, a driver using it in the rain loses some control of his vehicle.
- Driving distractedly. It is always dangerous when a driver is distracted by his cellphone, music, or eating while driving, but it is worse in a storm when he needs to be extra alert.
- Not replacing windshield wipers and tires regularly. It is critical that old, brittle windshield wipers and balding tires be replaced when needed. If not maintained, they reduce driver visibility and traction—both dangerous in a downpour.
It is safest to stay off the roads in a storm, but if you must drive, watch out for drivers engaging in these unsafe driving practices. If, despite your best efforts, another driver hits you, you could suffer serious injuries. However, you may be able to pursue a claim against the other motorist for compensation.
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