How to Avoid an Auto Accident in the Rain

How to Avoid an Auto Accident in the Rain

Driving in the rain can be challenging; visibility is lower, there’s less friction between your tires and the road, and reaction times are longer. It can be difficult to see the vehicle in front of you and traffic tends to slow down—a combination that can increase the risk of fender benders and other accidents. 

At Lucky Dog Auto Glass, your safety is our top priority, which is why we’re sharing some valuable advice on how to stay accident-free in rainy conditions. By preparing your vehicle for the rain and keeping these essential safety tips in mind, you can protect yourself and your loved ones on the road. 

Preparing Your Vehicle for Rainy Weather

Before the rainy season arrives, it’s essential to ensure your vehicle is ready to handle the challenges of wet road conditions. We recommend taking the following steps to prepare your car:

  1. Check Your Wiper Blades

Your windshield wiper blades play a crucial role in maintaining visibility. If your blades are worn or damaged, they can smear water across your windshield or even scratch it, which can affect your ability to see the road clearly. Check for signs of wear and damage, and replace them if necessary. If your blades look OK but aren’t performing well, it’s time for a replacement. 

  • Check Your Lights

Your vehicle’s lights enhance your visibility in the rain and make you more visible to other drivers. Make sure your brake lights, headlights, and turn signals are working correctly, and replace them as needed. 

  • Check Your Tires

Having adequate tire tread is essential for good traction in wet weather and reducing the risk of hydroplaning. Check the tread depth using a tread gauge or the penny test. 

Place a penny with Lincoln’s head down and facing you into the groove of your tires. If you can see the top of his head, it’s time for a replacement. Likewise, if your tires are cracked, have unusual bulges, or other signs of damage, don’t hesitate to have a new set installed. It’s also important to make sure that all tires have the correct air pressure. 

  • Don’t Wait on Brake Repairs

Brake issues can be hazardous in any condition but they’re particularly risky on wet roads. If your brakes have been squealing, grinding, or vibrating, get them serviced before the rainy season begins.

Drive Slowly and Increase Your Following Distance

Regardless of whether you’re caught in a heavy downpour or a light drizzle, it’s always best to drive slower than you would when the roads are dry. Wet conditions make it take longer to slow your vehicle, and there’s a higher chance of hydroplaning at faster speeds. Driving slower (think about 1/3 slower than you would if it wasn’t raining) will also give you more time to react to any potential hazards or obstacles on the road. 

Turn on Your Lights for Better Visibility

While some states require you to turn your headlights on when it rains, Washington only requires it when visibility is poor. However, turning on your headlights when it’s raining will make your vehicle more visible to other drivers—even in broad daylight. 

Plan Your Route 

To minimize distractions while driving, plan your route ahead of time. Fiddling with maps or GPS systems on the road can take your attention away from the road and increase the risk of getting into an accident. 

Double Your Following Distance 

Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of you in rainy conditions by doubling the recommended following distance. This extra space will give you more time to react and reduce the risk of rear-end collisions. When you’re following another vehicle, try to stay within their tire tracks; this will give you better traction and reduce the risk of hydroplaning

Keep Your Windows Clear

Fogged-up windows can significantly reduce visibility, so make sure to use your defroster or air conditioning to prevent fog buildup. If your defroster isn’t working well, rolling down your windows will balance the temperature difference and help clear your windows faster. 

Be Cautious Around Pooled Water 

Be careful when driving through standing water, as it can sometimes be difficult to gauge its depth. Driving through deep puddles can damage your electrical components and can even cause your engine to stall or seize. To prevent skidding or losing control, avoid sudden, heavy braking. Anticipate when you may need to brake and do it gently and gradually. 

Waiting It Out Can Be Wise

The first 15 minutes of rain can be particularly hazardous. When the rainwater mixes with oil on the road, it can make driving conditions extra slick. If it’s possible, try to wait 15-20 minutes after a heavy downpour begins to allow the oil to wash away. 

Need Auto Glass Repair or Replacement? We’re Here to Help!

By following these tips and staying alert to road and traffic conditions, you can minimize the risk of accidents during the rainy season. If, despite these precautions, you find yourself in need of auto glass repair or replacement, Lucky Dog Auto Glass is here for you. As a family-owned and operated business, we understand how important your auto glass is for your safety and peace of mind on the road—especially in conditions with low visibility, like rain. 

Whether you have a large crack obscuring your view or a small chip, we take every step to ensure that your auto glass is installed correctly, the first time. Contact us today at 253-569-9403 to receive a free estimate or schedule an appointment!

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