When rainy weather arrives, most people forget that driving in the rain is not exactly like driving on dry pavement. Rainwater adds extra danger to any road trip because it reduces traction and increases your chance of being in an accident. Before you drive in wet weather, take a minute to review our rainy weather driving tips.
Drive slowly. Excessive speed causes more accidents in bad weather than you might imagine. As any driver's education instructor would tell you, the posted speed limit applies only in optimal driving conditions. If rain is falling, slow down.
Watch other drivers carefully. Look for drivers ahead of, next to and behind you, and be aware of their driving speeds. Think about what you would do if a driver near you slammed on the brakes, and leave enough space between your cars to compensate for such an event.
Do not cross standing or running water if you do not know how deep it is. This rule is so very important, and so often ignored. If you must cross running water to get to your destination, turn around and go home. Don't cross running water if you can't see how deep it is.
If you are driving and need to slow down, brake carefully. Rainwater reduces traction between the road and your vehicle. Every move you make when you are behind the wheel should take that reduction of traction into account.
Turn into a skid, just as you would if you were driving in snow. Turn carefully and brake gently. Avoid quick, jerky turns of the steering wheel.
Turn your headlights on. The DMV requires headlight use if windshield wipers are on, some drivers forget to turn on their headlights. Your goal should be not just to be seen but to see everyone else, including drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.
Drive near the center line. Most roads are cambered so water runs off toward the sidewalks or storm drains, so you are less likely to encounter surprise puddles and hydroplan ing in lanes that are closest to the center line.
Pull over if you cannot see well. Sometimes the rain comes down so hard that visibility is almost completely restricted. Pull off the road and wait out the storm if you cannot see the road in front of you. If rainfall is heavy, activate your emergency flashers so that other drivers can see where you are parked.
Watch for pedestrians. It is much harder to see people walking in wet (or, even worse, dark and wet) weather, even if they are wearing reflective gear.
Finally, carry emergency supplies in your vehicle. You never know when you might need them.
For more information: http://seniortravel.about.com/od/rvtravelroadtrips/qt/RainyDrivingTips.htm