Here in Southern California we may not see too many rainy days, even with this El Nino year, but we mustn’t forget other parts of our golden state, particularly Northern California, which sees much more rain throughout the year. And on top of rain, there’s wind and fog, making driving conditions more dangerous. But, regardless of where it’s raining, we’re here to offer some very helpful wet weather driving tips (and let’s face it SoCal – we’re not the best at driving in the rain).
- Turn on headlights. This allows you to see in front of you better, as well as other drivers to see you better. And even if it’s sunny while raining, it’s the law to have those headlights on.
- Turn off cruise control. Despite being called “cruise control,” it can be more difficult to gain control of your car again if you end up hydroplaning while in the cruise control mode.
- At the mention of hydroplaning, if you feel your car hydroplaning (when your tires lose traction of the road itself and only feels the water-this can happen with at least 1/12th of an inch of water), slowly take your foot off the gas and maintain control with your steering wheel. Do not slam on the brakes.
- Drive slower. Remember visibility may be low so it will be harder to see people and objects.
- Check your tires. If you’ve got pretty worn out tires, you’re more susceptible to hydroplaning and skidding in the rain because you don’t have treads in your tires for traction.
- Check your car lights. Get any broken or dim headlights, tail lights, brake lights, and signal lights fixed. Not only is having non-functioning lights putting you at risk, it’s also against the law and you can get a ticket.
- Remain alert. Remember, you may trust yourself to be a safe driver, but you can never know what other drivers are going to be like.
Check the weather and traffic before you leave your house and always allow yourself extra time to get to your destination when it’s raining. Also make sure to have a fully charged phone! You never know when that can come in handy.