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Safety tips for driving in heavy rain

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2024 | Auto Accidents

There’s no question that rain – particularly a sudden heavy rain like we often get here in Florida – is one of the most dangerous weather-related driving conditions. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHA), nearly half of all collisions occur while it’s raining.

Whether you’re hit with a sudden rainfall while you’re on the road or you’ve stayed off the road as long as you can while the rain has fallen for days and have to go out in it, there are some simple things you can do to help stay safe.

Use the right headlights setting

Even during the day, it’s important to turn on your headlights if it’s raining. (Make sure they’re clean before you set out.) Don’t just rely on your automatic headlights. Besides the rain and overcast skies making it hard for drivers to see, their windows may be fogging up. It’s crucial, however, not to turn on your high beams. This can blind drivers going in the opposite direction. High beams should typically only be used in areas where there are no vehicles within hundreds of feet.

Avoid standing water if possible

If you can change lanes safely to avoid standing water, you should. Even if it only looks like a puddle, it can be impossible to know how deep it is until you’re in it. Driving through inches-deep water can cause a car to hydroplane and go out of control. If you can’t avoid the standing water, go through it very slowly.

Increase that “three-second rule”

Staying three seconds behind the vehicle ahead of you is fine in normal driving conditions. Increase that as much as necessary to give you plenty of time to stop safely if you have to. Further, you never know when the driver in front of you may suddenly stop and possibly swerve out of control. Larger vehicles like commercial trucks need even longer to stop.

By following these safety guidelines, you’ll be in a better position to avoid a collision. However, sometimes other drivers are so negligent or reckless that a crash is unavoidable. Bad weather does not usually remove a negligent driver’s liability for a collision. Seeking experienced legal guidance can help in the aftermath of such wrecks.