Another wet day in sunny Florida. You hear it (and probably say it) alot--People in Florida don't know how to drive in the rain. Rain is blamed for thousands of car accidents yearly. Many of these automobile accidents are preventable, but are caused by drivers who don't understand what have to do in the rain. Here are some tips that could avoid a car accident in the rain:
1. Allow for more travel time. You should plan to drive at a slower pace than normal when the roads are wet. Even if you are not planning on driving slower, other drivers will. Whatever the case, rushing equals higher risk.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. After you cross a puddle, tap on your brake pedal lightly to dry off some of the water on your rotors.
5. Turn on your headlights, even when there's a light sprinkle. Besides it being the law, it helps you see the road, and more importantly, it helps other motorists see you. However, don't use your high beams in the rain because they will obscure your view further, as the light will reflect back at you off the water droplets in the air.
6. Track the car ahead of you. Let the car ahead pave a clear path, so to speak, through the water.
7. 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 you must brake, tap the brake pedal (unless you have antilock brakes, in which case you can put your foot down).
Although you would rather be at home reading a good book and listening to the rain, most times that is not practical. You will likely be on the road in the rain. Follow these steps and you may be able to avoid having to wait on the side of the road in the rain after a car accident.
Drive safely and watch out for those who don't.
Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes represents those injured in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accident or other types of crashes caused by negligent drivers. His Tampa Bay personal injury law firm--Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes--has been caring for clients since 1955. As one of Clearwater's oldest personal injury law firm, you can benefit from their experience. Click here to schedule a free case consultation with Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Noyes.