April showers may bring May flowers, but they also make driving difficult. On a yearly basis, 75% of all weather-related car accidents happen on wet pavement, and 47% of them occur when it’s raining. And, since Houston gets an average of 53 inches of rain a year (at least in years when we don’t get flood events), we get plenty of opportunities to drive on wet roads.
To avoid becoming another accident statistic, here are a few driving tips to help keep you safe:
- Be road-ready. Make sure tires have enough air pressure and tread. Check windshield wipers to see if they need to be replaced. If possible, avoid driving during heavy thunderstorms.
- Turn on your lights. Rain makes it harder for other drivers to see your vehicle, so make sure to turn on your headlights.
- Turn around, don’t drown. Do not walk, swim, or drive through flood waters.
- Keep your distance. Keep more distance between your car and the vehicles ahead of you.
- Drive more slowly than usual. Driving too fast during slippery conditions can cause hydroplaning and loss of control.
- Avoid slamming on the brakes. Ease down on the pedal so you don’t hydroplane or hit another car.
- Keep steering if you skid. If your car starts to skid, continue in the same direction you’re headed. Don’t slam on your brakes or try to change direction.
The best tip is 8) to stay home if possible. Avoid driving during storms and heavy rainfall, or at least wait until the worst is over. In Houston, we don’t always take this advice, but it’s the first thing we should do.
How prepared are you for driving in the rain?