10 Tips on How to Drive Safely in the Rain June 10, 2013 – 11:34 pm It has been raining a lot, really severe rain and everyone needs to be careful driving. I recommend staying home if there is flooding! There will be other times to go out, stay safe! Here are some tips if you are driving in the rain! 1. Keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times! Keep all distractions, such as cell phones or even the radio, off and away from you. It is illegal to talk or text on your cell phone while driving! 2. Turn on your headlights. New York State requires headlights when it is raining, even in broad daylight. This will make it easier for you to see what is in front of you; thus, preventing any accidents. 3. Keep a minimum of a good five car length from the car in front of you. You never know what other drivers are going to do or what could happen to you! If that feels too close or too far a rule of thumb is 1 second of following distance per 10 miles per hour. That holds true especially in bad weather. 4. Drive at or below the speed limit to the extent that you are comfortable with, and can see far enough in front of you to appropriately make driving decisions.. 5. Be aware of hydroplaning. This is where your vehicle travels on top of the water and has NO or very little contact with the ground. Your traction is reduced significantly. To safely get out of a hydroplaning situation let off the gas and steer straight or slightly in the direction you must go. Do not make sudden motions and remain calm. 6. Avoid flooded roads. Never drive through standing or flowing water in a road way unless you have no choice or you are able to follow someone else to judge the depth of the water. Flooding the engine of your car can cause the engine to stall, and deep water can actually float your car and take it off the roadway. 7. Turn on the defroster if the windshield begins to fog. In hot, muggy weather, air conditioned air (which cannot contain as much moisture) will usually clear the inside of the windshield faster than non air conditioned. 8. Be aware that brakes can be affected by water. Wet drum type brakes are especially prone to decreased stopping power after driving through deep water. 9. Watch for splashing from potholes and pools of water that accumulate at clogged storm drain pipes and low areas of the pavement. Highways also develop “ruts” where the heaviest traffic tracks, and you may be able to position your vehicle while remaining in your lane to avoid these. 10. Beware of driving in the rain, especially at night. Motorcycles or even other dark-colored cars can be camouflaged amongst glistening raindrops on side windows and mirrors. It’s best to have a light colored car that isn’t easily camouflaged in the night.