Safety Tips for Driving in the Rain

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This year’s predicted El Nino season brings both good and bad news

The good news: if you live in Florida, the East Coast, or the Gulf of Mexico, El Nino means there will be fewer and weaker hurricanes.

Now for the bad news: if you live on the Pacific Coast — California in particular — it means that the rainy season will be worse and a little more dangerous than usual.

If you do happen to get into an accident while out on the road, remember to call your Orange County personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

So this does not happen to you, keep some smart road safety tips in mind when you are out and about in the heavy rains. Here are some examples:

  • Pay Attention to Wet and Potentially Flooding California Roads
  • You really should heed the warning signs all around you.
  • When you drive through pools of standing water, there is the possibility of hydroplaning — as your tires are not used to the traction.
  • If you do find that your vehicle has quit running when you are stuck in standing water, do not attempt restart your car. Starting your car again while you are in standing water only forces additional water into the engine. This could potentially cost you thousands of dollars to fix.

Driving and Safety Tips for Wet Orange County Roads

1. Check Your Tires Regularly

Be certain that your tires possess sufficient enough tread and that they are inflated. This is critical for your automobile to deliver superior maneuverability and traction on a wet and dangerous road. Tires that are too well worn and demonstrate too thin a tread naturally have a better chance of hydroplaning on the wet and slick surface. If this occurs, then you will lose steering and braking control.

The old standard trick to double check tread still works: simply take a quarter and stick it upside down directly into the grooves on your tires. If at any place on the tires tread you are able to see the space over George Washington’s head, then you need to invest in a new set of tires.

2. Do Not Use Cruise Control

Cruise control may be a miraculous device when the roads are dry, but on a wet road it only elevates your chances of losing control over your car, truck, or SUV. What you should do is lower your speed by removing your foot from the accelerator in order to stop your vehicle from losing traction. This is hard to do when your cruise control is actively engaged, as your foot is not on the accelerator.

3. Turn Your Headlights On
This may sound obvious, but many drivers forget that rainy conditions on the roads often create low visibility situations. With your own headlights on, you can not only see others better, but you will also be more visible to them as well. Try not to resort to using high beams because the additional light can reflect against the rain and distract you and other drivers on the road – perhaps causing an unnecessary accident.

4. Be Proactive About Visibility
Though it goes without saying that your parents were right when they warned you about pulling off the road to a safe distance when you can no longer see the cars in front of or behind you, many people ignore this golden rule of poor visibility. If you are unable to see the road’s edges or any other automobiles at a reasonable distance in rainy conditions, then be sure to pull off the road to a safe distance. “Arrive alive” is still practical advice.

5. Watch Out for Flooded Roads and Standing Water Always
It is not only the engine that is in danger of road flooding and deep standing water. Your automobile may also stall out and experience significant or terrible damage because of:

• A loss of power steering
• Warping brake rotors
• Electrical components that short out

In the event that your automobile stalls in a flood, never stay with your car. Get to higher ground without the vehicle as soon as you can. When flood waters rise, they do so rapidly, and this can cause the car and everyone in it to be swept away.

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