How to drive safely in the rain

SITTING IN THE RAIN. Justin Ehn, a senior, sits in his car waiting for the rain to clear so he can drive safely once again. He is sitting in his car in the parking lot of the place he just ordered food, Mombo’s. “I really wanted to eat my food but I figured it would be better to wait, even if it means my food is slightly colder,” explained Ehn. While it may be an annoyance to wait a while for the rain to go away, he agrees that safety is a priority, not only for himself, but for the other driver’s as well. Photo by Justin Ehn
Article by Jaeden Callender
Road safety is one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of the beginning of the rainy season. Remembering to turn on your car’s auxiliary equipment is a necessity, of course. For example, turning on your lights even when you can already see clearly. Turning your lights on allows other drivers to see you more easily when visibility is lower than usual. However, using your fog lights needlessly while driving on busy streets can be very dangerous. While it may be easier to see for you, your brights will impair the vision of other drivers. At times you may need to flash your brights for a second to notify other drivers to turn on their headlights if they have forgotten to, but in general it’s safer to use your standard headlights. 

Some other things you may consider for safe driving during the rainy season include giving yourself extra space between you and drivers behind and in front of you. The reasoning for this is not only because of low visibility, but because it is dangerous to slam on the breaks while the ground is wet or while black ice is present. 

Obeying the speed limit is even more important when roads are wet because accelerating, decelerating and taking sharp turns too quickly can result in hydro-planing. In some cases, it’s a good idea to drive under the speed limit. In general, drive at or under the speed you deem to be safe for the situation at hand. 

Another tip for safe driving is of course to use your windshield wipers. If it’s cold outside, it is a good idea to turn on your defroster for your windshield, so that it doesn’t become so foggy that your vision gets impaired. 

If the rain is particularly bad and traveling isn’t necessary, it can be a good idea to stay home to minimize the number of cars on the road as well as keeping yourself safe if where you intend to drive is not an emergency. All in all, stay safe this season and make sure to stay aware of your surroundings as well as yourself.

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