Most people in the United States are probably quite familiar with driving in the rain. However, the incidence of rain is quite rare in Southern California and as a result the majority of people here don’t know how to drive properly in the rain. People are either driving 25 mph because they are terrified of driving in the rain or speeding at 80mph like it’s just another day. Driving in the rain can be quite scary since visibility is drastically reduced and it can be terrifying to drive on the freeway with water splashing every which way. Here are some tips to help you maneuver the slick roads.
Keep a significant distance behind the car ahead – If possible try to drive in a lane all by yourself without any car in front of you but if that’s not doable, try to stay as far away as possible from the car ahead. The car in front of you will create huge splashes of water making it virtually impossible to see ahead. At first I assumed that it was my own vehicle causing all of this splashing but once I switched over to a lane that was clear the splashing stopped. This made me realize that I was driving in the “after splash” of the car ahead.
Leave much earlier than usual – A commute that generally takes 5 minutes can take half an hour in the rain. Slick roads create all sorts of accident in Southern California, especially in the form of mud slides, tons of accidents, mud slides, destroyed road signs and trees lying in the roadway and even power outages rendering stoplights useless.
Don’t drive through a puddle- This is a terrible idea. Now is not a good time to test the limits of your car and try out that driving through the mud stunt you’ve always wanted to do. Maneuvering your vehicle through a puddle can possibly cause water to damage your vehicle’s electric equipment and your car to die out on the road. If that occurs you could possibly end up wet and cold on the side of the road calling for help!
Turn on your lights and use your turn signals- This is just common sense but I’ve seen clueless persons driving on the freeway in the rain in the dark without their lights turned on. I have also seen reckless drivers driving 80 mph in the rain and weaving in and out of traffic without using their turn signals! It’s more vital than ever to use turn signals, especially when visibility is at an all-time low.
Slow down – It’s imperative to drive slower due to decreased visibility, increased braking distance and slippery roads. However, there’s really no need to drive 30 mph because that’s just impeding the flow of traffic.
Make sure your tires are in good condition – If you’re tires are near bald without much thread, forget about driving in the rain altogether. Either take the bus or hitch a ride because driving in the rain with poor tires can lead to spin outs or even hydroplaning.