Driving Tips: Wet Weather

How To Drive Safely in Wet Weather

Per U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration statistics, 73% of weather-related crashes happen on wet pavement.  There are several things you can do to drive safely in the rain. We’ve put together a set of wet weather driving tips so you can increase your chances of staying safe on the road:

Slow your roll

Reducing your speed will greatly improve your stopping distance if you need to brake suddenly. You’ll also reduce the risk of hydroplaning.

Maintain a safe distance

Be prepared for longer stopping distances on wet pavement. Because other cars may not have proper tires for wet weather driving, be extra alert at stop signs and red lights. 

Choose tires carefully

Too many drivers buy tires based on initial price or appearance. For optimum performance in the rain, select a tire with tread design and rubber compounds that provide enhanced wet weather driving capabilities.

Properly maintain your tires

No tire can provide good wet traction once the tread is worn below 2/32 of an inch (1.6 mm) tread depth. Check your tires regularly and replace them at the proper time Also, be sure to maintain the proper inflation pressure in your tires; check your vehicle’s owner’s manual or the door jamb for the proper air pressure for your tires.     

Go smoothly

When braking, accelerating or turning, avoid jerky, abrupt movements. 

Avoid hydroplaning

To prevent hydroplaning, first ensure that your tires are in good condition and have adequate tread depth; second, reduce your speed in heavy rain or where water may pool on the road. If you feel your vehicle starting to hydroplane (riding on the surface of the water), take your foot off the accelerator, but don't hit your brakes. If you have a manual transmission, push in the clutch and let the vehicle slow down until control is regained. 

Plan your braking

If you are approaching a curve, slow down and brake gently before you start to turn. 

Turn on your lights

In most states, it's required by law. It may not help you see, but it will help other drivers see you. 

Check your wipers

Check your wiper blade condition and clean them regularly. Install new wiper blades as needed to ensure good visibility.