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5 tips for driving in the rain

Wet weather conditions contribute to millions of motor vehicle accidents a year. Next time you drive in the rain, be mindful of yourself and your surroundings. Reducing the risks of injuries and property damage is possible through careful planning and strategic driving. Don't let yourself be caught off guard next time it rains. Follow these five tips to drive with confidence.

1. Start before you drive

Take necessary steps to ensure you are ready to drive safely in the rain. Make sure your headlights, windshield wipers and tires are in good condition. Safely driving in wet weather starts before you get on the road.

2. Leave enough room

Stopping on wet pavement can be more difficult than in dry conditions. Due to the fact that your car's tires will have less traction, it's crucial to stay an ample distance behind vehicles in front of you. This leaves you enough time to brake for turns, intersections and traffic jams.

3. Slow down and drive steadily

If you drive too fast when it's raining, your vehicle could begin hydroplaning. To reduce the chance of your car uncontrollably sliding on the water on the road, you may need to drive slower than usual. Avoid turning sharply and hard braking as well.

4. Don't use cruise control

Most cars have a cruise control feature. While it is convenient in most cases, using it in the rain can increase your chances of losing control of your car. Reducing your car's speed quickly enough to gain traction on wet pavement can be hindered when cruise control is in use. Avoiding cruise control allows you to be more alert and respond more effectively to a loss of traction. Your car may also actually go faster if you begin hydroplaning while using cruise control.

5. Drive deliberately

A lot of people tend to drive out of habit. While this is subconscious, it can prove risky when weather conditions aren't ideal. Your driving needs to be properly adjusted to the current conditions. If you don't adjust your thinking during a downpour, you may not be aptly prepared to respond to different circumstances. Make sure you are focused and alert while driving in the rain.

Driving in the rain doesn't have to be a nerve-racking experience. When you keep the above tips in mind, you are sure to be able to navigate the road confidently. Driving with the above best practices in mind maximizes safety for everyone. Unfortunately, even the safest drivers can end up in accidents. You may want to consult an attorney if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident related to wet weather conditions.

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