Sometimes, a light drizzle can turn into a heavy downpour in a matter of seconds. With inclement weather making sudden appearances, it’s very likely that you have or will encounter driving during heavy rain or flooding. Not only does high water pose a risk to the vehicle, it can also be life-threatening if you become stranded. Here are some ways to keep yourself and your passengers safe when dealing with traveling in such harsh conditions.
1. Plan Ahead
When leaving home, heading to a meeting, or any event that requires a great deal of traveling, check the weather a couple of hours in advance. If you see that a storm could interrupt your drive, consider leaving a bit earlier to ensure a smoother commute or waiting until the storm passes.
2. Use your Wipers and Headlights
Most individuals unconsciously turn on their wipers when it starts to rain, but not everyone always reaches for their headlights. During heavy rain, it can be nearly impossible to detect other vehicles on the road, even at close distances. Not only is this a safety hazard; but, for most states, the law says you must turn on your headlights while using your wipers. The more visible you are, the better. Make sure to become educated with your state’s laws and lean on the side of caution.
3. If It Looks Deep – It Probably Is
Too often, individuals believe that they will never be the one to get stranded until it happens. When driving, especially in levels of low elevation where water can collect easily, be on the lookout for standing water. Never attempt to drive through water you believe to be deep. You could end up losing more than just your vehicle.
4. Go Easy on the Brakes
It’s hard to stop when there’s no traction; it’s simple as that. Driving at a lower speed and easing on the brakes are both best practices when driving in the rain. During a storm, water can also sit on top of the roadway like a blanket. This opens up the possibility of hydroplaning and losing control. If faced with this situation, never forcefully slam on your brakes. Trying to come to an immediate halt can cause the car to lose control.
5. If You Can – Avoid Traveling
The best way to not get caught during a storm is to not go out during the storm! Not all traveling can be avoided; but, if you can wait, it can save you a lot of stress and hassle from dealing with the unpredictability of the weather. Even delaying a commute until conditions clear up can be a wise decision.
Driving is a reality for most of us. Like most things, there is a right and wrong way to go about it. By taking the necessary precautions and having a plan, you can save yourself time wasted from getting stuck, money from costly vehicle repairs, and your life!
Click https://www.weather.gov/ to access the National Weather Service where you can access the latest information on the weather in your location.