Spring means warmer temperatures and more daylight hours, both of which give you plenty of reasons to be outdoors. Well, those and spring showers. That’s why it’s important to be safety conscious when driving.
Take note, however, that ensuring your safety on the road begins even before you get out on the road.
Here are 8 safety tips for driving in spring rain:
1. Make sure your tires are up for the task.
Your tires should have enough tread depth and the proper amount of pressure. Plenty of tread depth evacuates standing water between tires and the road surface. For a quick guide, 100 percent tire life is 10/32″. If you’re down to 3/32″, it’s time to get replacements.
Tire pressure is measured in psi (pounds per square inch). The recommended tire pressure for most passenger cars is 32 psi to 35 psi. You can find the information you need in either the sticker inside the driver’s door for newer cars or in the owner’s manual. Just be sure to measure your tires’ pressure once your car has cooled down so you don’t get a higher tire pressure reading due to the heat in your tires while your car is running. Remember, neither excess nor lack of pressure is good. Be sure to replace any punctured tire as well.
2. Ensure that all your lights are working.
When you’re out on the road, especially when visibility is not that great, you’ll need to be seen, from all sides. Regularly check your lights—headlamps, taillights, signal lights, brake lights, hazard lights, etc.—to make sure everything is working.
3. Be extra mindful during the first half hour of rain.
The first 30 minutes of rainfall makes the road very slippery. This is because rainwater combines with the mud and oil on the roads and forms a slippery layer. This can compromise your control at the wheel, so be extra careful.
4. Drive slower.
One way to avoid losing control when the road is slippery in the spring rain is to slow down. This allows you to stop in time to avoid getting into an accident.
5. Increase the distance between your car and the car ahead of you.
As you decrease your speed on slippery roads, increase the distance between you and the car in front of you. This is especially helpful when visibility is poor as well.
6. Look far ahead for any hazards.
Watch out for potholes, a car that may be suddenly stopped (either due to engine trouble or some other reason), or a distracted pedestrian who is not watching where they’re going.
7. Keep your windows from fogging up.
Did you know you can use the air conditioner to dehumidify the air inside of your car? If you don’t have an air conditioning system, you can wind down your rear windows a little so air can circulate inside.
8. Stop driving if the rain gets too heavy to see.
If the rain gets too heavy, the best thing to do is pull over and stop. If you can get into a covered space, even better. No sense in driving under highly hazardous conditions.
Driving carefully on wet, slippery roads and ensuring that your car components are in proper working condition keeps you safe as well as helps you save when it comes to repairs and replacement of parts.
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