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Driving Safely in the Rain

Are you one of those rare individuals who says “I Love a Rainy Night?” Whether you are Singing in the Rain or want to Blame It on the Rain, Mother Nature doesn’t pay attention to our plans when it comes to the weather.

Rain happens, and we still have to go places even on wet roads. Wet weather driving can be tricky with potential skidding and hydroplaning on slick roads. It is a good idea to make sure your car and its driver are prepared for what could happen when driving in the rain. The expert instructors at Missouri Driving School offer these tips for driving safely in wet weather.Driving Safely in the Rain

Prepare your vehicle.

  1. Windshield wipers. You need to see the road and surroundings clearly during a storm, so make sure your windshield wipers are working properly and have a sharp enough blade to keep your field of vision clear.
  2. Always make certain you have enough tread your tires, as your tires help with traction when it’s wet outside. Too little or no tread left on worn tires increases your chance of skidding and having an accident. Also make certain your tires are properly inflated.
  3. Keep up with scheduled maintenance on your vehicle. This will help to ensure your brakes are in good shape to help you stop, your defroster is ready to make sure the windows don’t fog up, and your headlights will be bright enough to guide you through the dark and stormy night.

Prepare yourself.

  1. Know the weather forecast. If you expect heavy rain and winds, you can adjust your timing and leave earlier or later.
  2. Know your route. Think twice before taking an unfamiliar route to arrive at your destination. Heavy rain can make it hard to see road signs and easier to get lost.
  3. Follow the rules of the road. Texting and driving is a really bad habit, especially in inclement weather. Be a responsible driver. Put down the phone, don’t speed, and make sure you are alert and ready to handle any potential driving hazard.

Prepare to arrive alive.

  1. Don’t drive if you don’t have to, and pull over if the rain gets bad. If you have the time, stay where you are until heavy rain conditions subside. If you are on the road and cannot see the cars in front of you, pull over and wait for conditions to improve.
  2. Don’t use cruise control in wet conditions. You might need to reduce speed to avoid losing traction, and this is not possible when using cruise control. The driver should keep fully engaged during wet weather driving.
  3. Turn your headlights on. In Missouri and many other states, it is the law to have your headlights on during a rain storm. This increases your visibility of the road and helps other drivers see you, avoiding possible collisions.
  4. Avoid hard braking and sudden movements. Slow down, and give other cars room. It takes longer to brake on wet surfaces, so slow and steady wins this race. Don’t cut off other vehicles or make unexpected movements, especially when your vehicle is difficult to see.
  5. Stay away from areas prone to flooding. You’ve heard the saying- turn around, don’t drown. It is impossible to tell how deep the water is on a flooded roadway. Don’t risk it. Turn around and find another way.
  6. Know how to handle a skid. If your car begins to skid, remain calm. Steer in the direction you want to go and avoid slamming on your brakes, as it makes it harder to control your vehicle.
  7. Know how to handle hydroplaning. If your car starts to hydroplane, gently ease your foot off the gas and avoid steering. Just slow down and hold on until your vehicle regains contact with the road.
  8. Be keenly aware of your surroundings. It may be easier to drive in the tracks from the vehicle in front of you if you cannot see the road. Avoid large trucks, buses and RVs as the spray from their tires can quickly reduce your visibility. Most importantly, watch for pedestrians.

The best way to stay safe when driving in inclement weather is to learn the best way to drive from the beginning. At Missouri Driving School, we teach good driving habits to all of our students. Our professional instructors are thoughtful, thorough and patient. We offer a relaxed one-one-one atmosphere and teaching at your pace. Don’t Set Fire to the Rain, and don’t fret when you notice Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head. Call Missouri Driving School at (314) 849-4590 to schedule a St Louis driving lesson!

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