If you have to drive in the rain, there are a number of things you can do to make the experience safer. In addition to observing common sense while you drive in the rain, you should also keep up on your vehicle maintenance, to ensure that your car is properly equipped for inclement conditions. By keeping your tires and windshield wipers in good shape, you can make driving safety in the rain relatively easy. If the rain is coming down hard, refrain from driving; the people at your end destination would rather see you another day than have you risk your life for them.
In terms of car maintenance, there are three things which will help you drive safely in the rain: proper tires, good windshield wipers, and lights in working order. Tires are essential, as they provide traction which will prevent hydroplaning and skidding in wet conditions. Make sure that your tires are properly inflated, and check for tread war; as your tires wear down, replace them. Windshield wipers should also be replaced on a regular basis to ensure that they will be working when you need them. Finally, working headlamps and signal lights make you more visible to other drivers, which reduces the risk of an accident when you drive in the rain. You should also make sure that your windows are kept clean inside, and that you have a clean soft cloth to wipe your windshield with if it fogs up.
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Rainy conditions are dangerous because they reduce traction on the road and they limit visibility. Rain can also be accompanied by high winds, which may toss hazards like downed trees and power lines into the road. When you drive in the rain, you need to be extremely alert, and you should drive slowly so that you can react to events on the road ahead. Slow driving will also limit the risk of hydroplaning.
Always turn on your lights in the rain to make your car as visible as possible, and keep your eye out for other cars. If you are traveling behind another vehicle, leave plenty of room to brake if you need to. Be on the lookout for cars turning on to the road from side roads or turn lanes, and be cautious when turning onto a roadway, as you may not be able to see an oncoming car due to the weather.
It is also an excellent idea to check on local road conditions before you drive in the rain. Many communities have a hotline which citizens can call to get information about road closures and flooding. Avoid regions with closed roads, as traffic may be backed up, and if you notice hazardous conditions such as flooding or downed trees, report them to traffic authorities. If you see a downed power line, do not drive over it; although the power is usually cut automatically, if it isn't, you could get a nasty surprise.