A Dozen Driving Tips for Safer Rainy Weather Outings

Rainfall has returned to California. The smell of petrichor permeates the air, and the roads are slick with nearly a year’s worth of oil and other automotive debris. As much as we enjoy the rain here in California, the turn in the weather also spells Disaster with a capital “D” for driving safety. Fortunately, here at Chain | Cohn | Stiles, we’ve put together a dozen driving tips for safer rainy weather outings. However, before we break down our list of 12 safe wet weather driving tips, let’s start things off with a quote from our managing partner, David Cohn himself:

“Let’s all make sure we slow down on the streets of Bakersfield when it’s wet and raining. Slowing down helps you maintain control of your vehicle, and could mean the difference between a crash, and making suree you and others get home safe.” – David Cohn, Managing Partner at Chain | Cohn | Stiles

The Chain | Cohn | Stiles 12 Rainy Weather Driving Safety Tips

  1. Wait: If you feel uncomfortable driving in the rain and can postpone your trip or commute, wait until the weather improves before driving. There’s no reason to put yourself in danger if driving in wet conditions is not 100% necessary.
  2. Plan Ahead: Give yourself plenty of time to plan ahead before you drive in the rain. Furthermore, make sure you allow extra time to get to your destination. Remember, never rush in the rain!
  3. Check Your Car: Before you drive in the rain, check your headlights, taillights, and windshield wipers. Also, check your tires and use your hazard lights if you’re ever stopped along the roadside for any reason.
  4. Slow Down: You should drive considerably slower than you usually would, and slower than the speed limit. Wet roads are hazardous. Your vehicle’s reaction time is much slower when it is raining. Also, accelerate and decelerate slowly. This will help you stay in control and avoid skids.
  5. Turn On Headlights, Even in the Daytime The truth of the matter is that you should turn on your headlights whenever you enter your car. However, in California, if it’s raining outside, then it’s the law. Turn on your lights in the rain. Period.
  6. Keep Your Distance: Keep a greater distance between your vehicle and the car in front of you. Stopping your vehicle will be more difficult when driving in the rain. Maintain a distance of several car lengths between your vehicle and other cars, to about five or six seconds between marks.
  7. Lay Off the Brakes: Don’t neglect your brakes in the rain. However, don’t overuse them, either. Slamming on the brakes can break your traction on the road, causing your car to skid and possibly spin out of control.
  8. Forget About Cruise Control: Don’t use cruise control, so your attention on using both the gas and brake are in concert.
  9. Watch for Puddles and Water in General: Driving through standing water can cause hydroplaning, which is when you lose traction and skid across the surface of the road. To avoid hydroplaning, drive around places where water has collected by changing lanes or safely steering around such areas. If your car does hydroplane, calmly take your foot off the accelerator and drive in the direction that the front of your vehicle needs to go. Avoid making sudden turns or slamming on your brakes.
  10. Watch Out for Other Hazards: Rainy weather isn’t your only concern when driving this winter. Also, watch out for and be aware of fallen trees, downed power lines, deep water, and barricades. Also, watch out for other drivers. People tend to get tunnel vision when it rains, so make sure you watch out for other drivers and hazards on the road.
  11. Don’t Drive Distracted: Leave your phone in your pocket and ignore the radio when it rains. Also, make sure any passengers in your vehicle are aware of the added danger of driving in the rain and that they do whatever they can to avoid distracting the driver.
  12. Ventilate and Use the Defrosters: When it rains, humidity goes up, and so does the chance of fogging up your windows and mirrors. During the rainy season, leavee a window cracked and turn up those defrosters. The last thing you want is a foggy windshield when you’re already driving in conditions that impair your vision.

Contact Chain | Cohn | Stiles

If you or someone you know is injured in an accident at the fault of someone else or injured on the job no matter whose fault it is, contact the attorneys at Chain | Cohn | Stiles by calling (661) 323-4000, or fill out a free consultation form at chainlaw.com.