There are so many tips/techniques I could list for driving in the rain. Yeah, I know we have all heard these before, but with all the rain we’ve had lately in Tucson, a little reminder never hurts. :)
- Don't attempt to cross running water. If the force of the water is greater than the weight of your vehicle, all-wheel drive isn't going to be much help if your vehicle is being pushed sideways. After you cross a puddle, tap on your brake pedal lightly to dry off some of the water on your rotors.
- Defog your windows. Rain will quickly cause your windshield to fog up. Switch on both front and rear defrosters and make sure the air conditioning is turned on. Most cars' climate control systems will automatically engage the A/C when the windshield defrost function is selected.
- Turn on your headlights, even when there's a light sprinkle. It helps you see the road, and more importantly, it helps other motorists see you. However, don't blast your high beams in the rain or fog — it'll obscure your view further, as the light will reflect back at you off the water droplets in the air. If your car is equipped with foglights, you may find it helpful to turn these on, as they throw a little extra light on the road while making your car easier to see.
- Allow for more travel time. You should plan to drive at a slower pace than normal when the roads are wet. Keep in mind that traffic is likely to be moving slower as well. There's also the possibility that your preplanned route may be flooded or jammed. Whatever the case, rushing equals higher risk.
- Brake earlier and with less force than you would normally. Not only does this increase the stopping distance between you and the car in front of you, it also lets the driver behind you know that you're slowing down. Also, be more meticulous about using turn signals, so that other drivers know your intentions, and take turns and curves with less speed than you would in dry conditions.
- Don't use cruise control. If you hydroplane, there's the chance your car could actually accelerate. Cruise control also allows drivers to be less vigilant and to take their foot away from the pedals — not a great idea when reaction time is so important.
- Watch out for pedestrians. An ordinarily observant pedestrian may become distracted by fiddling with an umbrella or a rain slicker. Plus, raindrops deaden sound, so the usual audio clues for measuring car distances become obscured. Keep a sharp lookout for people in the road.
- If it's raining so hard that you can't see the road or the car in front of you, pull over and wait it out.
- If you start to hydroplane, don't brake suddenly or turn the wheel, or you might spin into a skid. Release the gas pedal slowly and steer straight until the car regains traction. If a driver absolutely must brake, it should be done gently, in a car without antilock brakes, pump the brakes.
Thanks to edmunds.com (the car people); great tips for this blog post!
Have a great day, and don’t forget to call Micro Import Service for all your car repair/maintenance work; we are the Japanese Auto Repair Experts…and domestics, too! :)