If you have spent a lot of time in Florida, you understand that it rains on a regular basis. Even though the rain can cool off the hot weather from time to time, it can make driving more difficult.
Driving in the rain comes with a number of hazards. It can reduce your visibility, increase your stopping distance, and make it difficult to control your vehicle. Therefore, you need to take extra steps to be safe on the road. That way, you can reduce your chances of being involved in a motor vehicle accident.
Even a minor accident can lead to serious injuries, so take a look at a few safe driving tips for navigating the rain. Then, if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, work with a local chiropractor who can treat your injuries.
Turn on the Windshield Wipers
This is probably obvious, but you need to turn on your windshield wipers if you are driving in the rain. Make sure your windshield wipers are working appropriately. Most windshield wipers have multiple grades, ranging from intermittent to low and high. If your windshield wipers are not responding appropriately, see if they have been turned “off” instead of “auto,” as many vehicles have windshield wipers that turn on automatically when turned to the right setting.
You should also make sure your defroster is working appropriately. The extra moisture outside could cause your windshield to fog up, making it even harder to see. Turn on the defroster to clear the cloudiness from your windshield.
Slow Down To Avoid Hydroplaning
Next, you need to slow down when driving in the rain. It will take your vehicle much longer to come to a stop. Furthermore, the rain will reduce your visibility, making it hard for you to start changing road conditions. Therefore, slow down when you drive in the rain. It is always important for you to drive under the speed limit; however, the importance is magnified when it is raining outside.
Driving too quickly could cause your car to hydroplane. Your tires have treads in them that grip the road and filter water, preventing water from lifting your car off the road. If you drive too quickly, your tires don't have enough time to filter the water. Therefore, the water can cause your car to float on top of the road, causing you to lose control. This can lead to a catastrophic motor vehicle accident. If you don't slow down, you increase your chances of being involved in an accident that can hurt yourself, your passengers, and others on the road.
Turn on the Headlights
Even if it is raining in the middle of the day, you need to turn on your headlights. Turning on your headlights will make it easier for you to see what is happening in front of you. Your headlights will reflect off metallic vehicles in front of you, allowing you to react to changes more quickly. Furthermore, turning on your headlights will make it easier for other drivers to spot your car. That way, they can react to you just as you react to them. Turning on your headlights can reduce your chances of being involved in a collision.
Increase Your Following Distance
You should increase your following distance when it is raining outside. What this means is that you need to leave more distance between your car and the car in front of you. A good rule of thumb is that you need to leave approximately one car length between you and the car in front of you for every 10 miles per hour of speed. This means that if you are driving at 40 miles an hour, you should leave four car lengths between you and the car in front of you.
If it is raining outside, you need to increase your following distance even more. You might want to leave a few extra car lengths between your car and the car in front of you. This will give you more time to bring your vehicle to a stop if the road conditions change.
Avoid Oil Slicks
If the rainstorm started recently, you may see oil slicks on the road. If you see multicolored puddles, this is an oil slick. If you remember from middle school science class, water and oil do not mix. Therefore, when it starts to rain, oil makes it on top of the water. Oil is incredibly slippery. If your vehicle strikes one of the oil slicks, you could lose control. Keep your eyes open for these oil slicks. Try to avoid them when you drive. If you slow down, you will have more time to respond to oil slicks.
Avoid Large Trucks
You should try to avoid getting behind large trucks and tractor-trailers. These large vehicles can displace a large amount of water. If they go through a puddle, all of the water is going to be splattered directly on your windshield. This will make it nearly impossible for you to see, creating a safety hazard. Try to avoid getting stuck behind larger vehicles such as trucks and tractor-trailers. If you do get stuck behind them, try to leave extra space between you and the truck. That way, you don't get splashed as much.
Put Down the Phone
You should minimize distractions every time you get behind the wheel of a car. This is even more important when it is raining outside. Therefore, put down the phone during a rainstorm. You may even want to put your phone on silent so you don't get distracted. All of your attention has to be on the road. If you divide your attention between your phone and the road, the hazards that exist during a rainstorm will only get worse. Minimize your chances of being involved in a car accident by keeping all distractions away.
See a Local Chiropractor if You Are in an Accident
Even if you put safety at the top of your priority list, you might still be involved in a motor vehicle accident. You might feel fine initially, but there are some injuries that do not necessarily cause immediate symptoms. That is why you should see a local chiropractor after an accident.
At Seminole Chiropractic Center, we have a tremendous amount of experience helping people of all ages following a motor vehicle accident. It would be our pleasure to help you recover as well. A chiropractor from our team will customize your treatment plan to meet your needs while minimizing complications and side effects. Contact us today to make an appointment!
- Auto Injury Experience