1. Windshield Wiper Maintenance
Properly functioning windshield wipers are a must for safe driving in both rain and snow. If you can’t see out of your windshield in the rain...you’re definitely not going to be driving safely.
Environmental factors like debris hitting your windshield, ice, or chemicals can all contribute to the deterioration of your windshield wipers. It’s important to replace them at least once or twice a year depending on how much use they’ve gotten and how well they are performing.
When buying new windshield blades, try to avoid going for the cheapest ones. The poor quality of cheap blades is not worth the hassle. They may cause streaking or deteriorate quicker than a better quality wiper. Take a few minutes to read reviews and find a good quality, middle of the road wiper that does it’s job well.
Inspect your blades for debris and damage between changes. You can clean your blades to maintain their integrity and to ensure they function at an optimal level. Simply take a rag and spray it with a mixture of vinegar and water and gently wipe the blade down.
2. Avoid Large Puddles
There are a number of reasons to avoid driving through large puddles whenever possible. It’s hard to tell how deep a puddle is while driving. Flooding can happen extremely quickly in a heavy enough downpour and some roads are more prone to flooding than others. A large enough puddle can actually sweep your car away.
Driving through large puddles can cause you to hydroplane and lose control of your car. Slick, rainy roads can become even more slick if there is oil or other car chemicals that have leaked onto the road.
Another reason to avoid large puddles is the possibility of doing serious damage to your car. Not only can your car stall from getting too wet, but it could cause engine damage, mess up your electrical system, and mess with the reliability of your braking system.
If your car does take on water and stalls out on you, call us for help to get the best tow truck assistance in Northwest Arkansas. We can get your car off the road and to a safe destination.
In addition to the dangers to you, your passengers, and your vehicle, avoiding puddles will help prevent splashing waves of water onto other vehicles windshields which could impair their ability to see through their windshield.
3. Stay In Control of The Steering Wheel
It’s always important to pay attention and stay in control of your vehicle when driving...but in inclement weather situations it’s especially important to pay extra attention and do everything in your power to remain in control of your car.
Wet roads mean puddles and slick roads that can quickly become dangerous and cause you to hydroplane.
Hydroplaning happens when your car loses traction and slides uncontrollably on the wet surface of the road. It can cause an accident and it’s important to make the right moves if you do find yourself hydroplaning.
First of all, do not panic and do not slam on your brakes! Slamming on your brakes is one of the worst things you can do as it can make you hydroplane even more and spin out—losing all control of your car.
Instead, you want to take your foot off the gas, very gently begin to lightly pump the breaks and gently stir in a safe direction.
4. Slow Down For Safety!
It may seem like common sense to slow down when the roads are wet, but we’ve all seen cars flying by us on the highway when it’s raining.
Slowing down when it’s raining is one of the most important, preventative measures you can take for driving safe in the rain. Slowing down gives you more time to react if you do begin to slide or if someone near you begins to slide towards you.
Giving yourself extra time when it’s raining allows you to travel at a reduced speed without feeling rushed.
5. Keep Your Defogger On
Windshields can fog up and sometimes almost instantly when you're driving in heavy rain. The combination of humidity and the cabin of your vehicle being warmer than outside creates the perfect climate for foggy windows.
While you may want to take your hand and quickly wipe the inside of your windshield to remove the condensation—don’t. The natural oils on your skin will only smear on the inside of your windshield and cause more visibility problems.
When you need to defog your windshield when it’s raining, turning on the AC to quickly reduce the temperature in the cabin will help. You can also open your windows just a little to allow cool air in.
6. Create More Distance Between You and The Car in Front of You
Keeping a safe driving distance between you and the vehicle in front of you is always a good idea—and in the rain, when the roads are slick...it could mean the difference between colliding with another vehicle or not.
It’s important to remember that it takes longer to slow down when braking on wet roads. You don’t want to be stopping short or slamming on your brakes as that could cause you to hydroplane. You should brake with caution and leave plenty of space between you and vehicles in front of you.
Keeping a safe distance between you and other vehicles allows you to have enough time to react and find a safe escape route in the event of an accident or a car losing control on the road in front of you.
A good rule of thumb in dry conditions is the 3 second rule—but on wet roads, doubling that to 6 seconds is a good idea. The 3 second rule is typically taught by driving instructors to help people avoid accidents. The idea is to keep 3 seconds between you and the car in front of you.
To measure the 3, or 6 seconds in the case of wet roads, simply pick an upcoming sign, tree, or other object on the side of the road. When the vehicle in front of you is passing it, begin to count how long it takes you to get to that object with the goal being at least 3-6 seconds depending on driving conditions.
We hope you’ve found our 6 tips for driving safe in the rain helpful. If you or someone you know needs roadside assistance or a tow truck in Northwest Arkansas give our towing services a try and give us a call for quick and friendly service.