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Driving in a downpour can be a real bummer, especially if you were looking forward to a nice refreshing day brimming with sunlight. The simple sight of those dark clouds alone is often enough to make any normal day seem gloomier than usual. More importantly, rain can be an indirect cause of traffic accidents and mishaps. As innocent-looking as it is, rain can cause several things that might make your quiet ride through the urban jungle go awry. Staying safe is always the top priority and we have a few tips to keep you on the right track.

Perhaps the most basic and elementary rule to keep you safe in driving is to simply slow down. This may be obvious to most people, but it seems to be the most ignored. It’s even more important to lower your speed while driving on wet roads. They might not be as slippery as icy roads during the winter, but the risk of losing control over your vehicle due to hydroplaning is always very present. If you can't slow down, then at least try to soften your acceleration a bit. You may not be able to completely eliminate the possibility of a traffic accident, but it helps to take steps to prevent them.Tips for Driving in the Rain

Keeping your visibility at a maximum should be one of your top priorities if you want to keep dangers away while driving in a downpour. Turning your windshield wipers and headlights on and using your turn signals is recommended, even in the daytime. Keep your field of vision as clear as possible (you might want to remove those cool shades too). In heavy rain, it's important to be on guard for anything. Stay alert and pay close attention to everything that you see around you.

Since your visibility will be reduce when driving in the rain, the normal distance you keep from the car in front should be far greater. Traffic is likely to be moving slower and driving considerably slower than normal will give you more time to react and adjust to what going on around you. When you realize that you have to use the brakes, do it earlier and more gently as usual. Not only will this keep you from hydroplaning, but it will give the driver behind you more time to react as well.

Make an effort to avoid large pools of water that accumulate in the road. You never what's under the water. There could be a huge pothole that could damage your tires, rims, and even your suspension. If you do happen to drive through a large puddle, gently tap your brakes to dry off any accumulated water that might still be on your brake rotors. There is also a "polite" advantage to avoiding puddles on city streets, where there can be many pedestrians walking by on the sidewalk. Some pedestrians might get a splashy punishment as your car speeds through the water.

Finally, if simple techniques and preventive measures are insufficient, you might opt to invest in better equipping your vehicle for the rain. Making sure that your car is properly aligned and the air pressure in your tires is at recommended levels can ensure optimal handling. You may not realize how much of a difference this can make during rainy conditions. You may also opt for a set of tires that are more hydroplane-resistant and can navigate wet roads more efficiently.

Always remember to never underestimate the indirect effects of rain on the road. What you may view as a simple, harmless wet road might just be your pathway to disaster.

By Matt Reynolds - Google+
Posted 5:59 PM

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