As most drivers know, road and weather conditions play a significant role in your ability to control and maneuver your vehicle. Understanding a road’s conditions and the way your car reacts to wet pavement are two important factors in knowing how to stay safe while driving in the rain. Even roads that are very familiar to you can quickly become hazardous in certain weather conditions.
Being mindful of your surroundings and actively working to promote your safety could ultimately work to your benefit.
Wet Weather Driving Tips From the Georgia Department of Driver Services
Driving on wet roads can be extremely dangerous. If possible, avoid doing so. If driving in the rain is unavoidable, the Georgia Department of Driver Services offers several tips for staying safe while driving in the rain. Whether you are a seasoned or novice driver, you may want to review these recommendations.
Avoid Driving Immediately After It Starts Raining
When it starts to rain, the surface of the road reacts to the sudden mixture of water, rain, oil, and other chemicals and substances on the road. That makes the first 30 minutes after rainfall the most dangerous time to start or continue driving.
During this period, roads might be unusually slick and can pose serious safety hazards. If possible, avoid driving in the rain. If you must drive, avoid driving in the first half-hour after it starts raining.
Brake Carefully While Driving in the Rain
When you apply your brakes on dry roads, your tires are more easily capable of gripping the road and bringing your vehicle to a safe stop. In wet weather, your brakes might pull to one side or might have trouble adequately gripping the road’s surface. During and after rainfall, leave extra room for your car to come to a complete stop when braking.
Take notice of road conditions in the rain and pay special attention to potholes where puddles of water can accumulate, and other wet, slick surfaces that might lead to hydroplaning. If you have to drive in the rain, you can help dry your brakes by braking slowly or tapping the brake pedal with your foot.
Take Steps to Prevent Hydroplaning
Standing water on streets and highways can easily lead to hydroplaning. For those unfamiliar with the term, hydroplaning is when a vehicle uncontrollably slides across a road’s wet surface. Most cars can safely navigate standing water at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour. When your car is moving faster than the aforementioned speed, your risk of hydroplaning greatly increases.
To avoid hydroplaning, make sure your car’s tires have plenty of tread, slow down to accommodate wet surfaces, and avoid any potential distractions. If your car does start to hydroplane, take your foot off the gas, and allow your car to come to a complete stop.
Exercise Caution When Navigating a Curve in the Road
Safely maneuvering your car through a curve takes skill and attention even in the best of weather. When it rains, the need for caution while driving through a curve is even greater. While turning, slow down to a safe speed, brake very carefully rather than slamming on your brakes, and steer carefully in the direction of the curve.
Maintain Fully Functional Headlights
Working headlights are important when driving in the rain for the safety of yourself and others while on the road. Fully functional headlights increase your visibility and alert others to your approaching presence.
Headlight tips for driving in the rain include turning on your headlights when:
- An approaching car is closer than 500 feet.
- You are closer than 200 feet to a car in front of you.
- Your visibility is reduced by rain, fog, or snow.
Carefully maintained, working headlights are not only an important aspect of driving safely, but it’s mandated by law. According to O.C.G.A. 40-8-20, you are required to have your headlights on when dusk or dawn is approaching, or when it is raining. You should be prepared to repair or replace faulty headlights immediately after becoming aware of the deficit.
Get Chiropractic Help When You Need It
Dominguez Chiropractic is proud to provide you with tips for how to stay safe while driving in the rain. If you are injured while driving in the rain, our team is poised to help you restore your physical health as soon as possible. Dr. Barbara Dominguez will even meet with you during treatment to discuss your injuries, treatment options, and patient care plan. We want to be your one-stop auto injury center.
With offices in Gainesville, Marietta, Lawrenceville, Doraville, and Decatur, our English and Spanish speaking staff are here to help. Call Dominguez Chiropractic at (404) 800-3000 to speak with a member of our client care team today.