With winter over, many motorists breathe a sigh of relief that snowy and icy conditions have given way to sunnier, more relaxed driving. However, summer rainstorms can make roads treacherous due to lowered visibility, increased stoppage times, and slippery surfaces. Don’t be caught unaware this summer. Whether it be a downpour or a light rain, adjust driving in wet weather to help prevent accidents.
Rainy Weather Results in More Accidents than Snow
Although most drivers understand poor road conditions due to snow, many do not realize the dangers of warmer wet road conditions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 46% of accidents occur during rainy weather versus 17% in snow or sleet. That may be because more drivers opt to stay home during snowstorms and because those who need to drive in snow tend to drive more cautiously. However, rain changes road conditions in several ways, including:
- Lowering visibility due to the rain itself, darker conditions, windshield wiper movement, and/or condensation within the vehicle.
- Causing existing oil residue on roads to become slippery, especially within the first half-hour of rainfall.
- Increasing glare from oncoming headlights.
- Increasing the risk of your tires hydroplaning, resulting in skidding.
- Changing the safe stoppage time between your vehicle and the one ahead.
Staying Safe in Rainy Conditions
Staying safe in wet weather involves taking steps in advance, as well as during rainy driving itself. Keeping your vehicle in good condition helps prevent problems like hydroplaning and collisions. Before driving:
- Stay up to date on brake inspections.
- Check tire pressure and tread regularly, and replace tires before tread falls below 4/32-inch.
- Check windshield wipers and all headlights, brake lights, and turn signal lights to make sure they don’t need replacement.
During a rainstorm:
- Reduce distractions
- Slow down, and allow extra space between vehicles. Stop time increases by roughly one-third in slippery weather, and in some cases, by even more depending on speed and type of vehicle.
- Avoid plowing through puddles and standing water at high speeds, as this increases the risk of hydroplaning and sliding out of your lane.
- If you cannot see ahead of your vehicle in especially heavy downpours or fog, it may be best to pull over until conditions improve.
Located in Huntley, Illinois, Adams Collision Service is a family-owned and operated auto collision and dent repair service. Since 1958, Adams Collision Service has been restoring vehicles to their pre-accident condition in the northwest suburbs and greater Chicago area. To learn more about us, please visit http://adamscollisionservice.com/about-us/ or call (847) 961-5409.