If you’re about to hit the road but anticipate rain in the forecast, don’t start the car quite yet. Driving in heavy rain presents an array of dangers, making it all too easy for a daily commute to end in a collision. However, there are simple precautions that you can take to ensure your safety and that of your passengers and fellow drivers. To stay safer on the roads when rain starts to fall, check out a few simple tips from Main Auto Body, Inc.
Check your windshield wipers and fluid.
Worn-down wiper blades will be useless should you encounter heavy rain. That’s because when windshield wiper inserts lose their traction, they leave behind streaks of water or don’t clear the glass at all, hindering your visibility even more. Make sure your wipers are in good condition by checking the windshield wiper fluid, which should be full and may come in handy if mud or debris obstruct your view. You could also consider products that can be sprayed or wiped onto your windshield’s glass that help improve the flow of rainwater. When driving in precipitation, your wipers should be one of the first things you turn on, even if the rain seems light.
Check your tires.
There are few things more dangerous while driving in heavy rain than worn out tires with little to no tread. Balding tires, especially if the tire pressure is low, severely reduce traction in wet conditions and could cause you to hydroplane. Make sure your tires, including the spare, are properly inflated to the correct pressure as indicated by the manufacturer. Check your tread depth by inserting a quarter upside down into the groove of each tire, and replace them with new tires if you can see above George Washington’s head.
Check your lights and turn on your headlights.
While the state of Oregon doesn’t require drivers to turn on their vehicle’s headlights when using the wipers, in general it’s a smart idea to do so. Using your headlights won’t just help you see more clearly, but can also keep your car visible to oncoming traffic. Similarly, check that your turn signals, taillights and brake lights are working properly to ensure you’re easily seen in the rain.
Check your brakes and practice braking slowly.
Did you know that slamming on the brakes while driving in heavy rain can actually increase your odds of hydroplaning or losing control of the vehicle? For this reason, you must brake slowly in these conditions and ensure that your brakes are in good condition. Practice this technique in dry weather by taking your foot off the gas pedal earlier than normal to gradually slow to a stop. If your car can’t handle this in dry conditions, be sure to have your brakes checked as soon as possible.
Ensure proper ventilation.
As rain causes an increase in humidity levels, the interior of your car can fog up fast if your vehicle’s ventilation system fails. To avoid having your windows and windshield fog up and being forced to pull over, be certain that your defroster is capable of clearing fog regardless of the temperature and weather conditions.
Bring appropriate supplies.
There’s no telling how severe the driving conditions will be during spells of torrential rain. In the event that you encounter road closures or standing water that is too deep to cross, you’ll want to have the following emergency supplies on hand:
- Drinking water, snacks and any medications you’re currently taking
- Umbrella, waterproof shoes, rain coat and/or parka
- Dry clothing to change into if necessary
- Smartphone charger
- Emergency flares
- First aid kit
Collision Repairs for Rain-Related Accidents
Even the most careful drivers can experience an accident during heavy rain or on slick roads. If your vehicle has been damaged due to rainy conditions, contact Main Auto Body, Inc. today for collision repairs. With nine locations throughout the Willamette Valley and in Bend, OR, you’ll find expert paintless dent repair, glass replacement and car alignment to get you back on the road in no time, rain or shine.