Driving in the Rain

Road conditions are the cause of many collisions.

  1. Check your tires before driving.
    • Tire tread and wear: Your tires should have visible tread of at least 2/32 of an inch across the base with no worn spots showing on the ply.
    • Smooth tires on wet roads contribute to thousands of serious crashes.
  2. Maintain Wiper Blades
    • Routinely check to make sure that your blades are clean, not cracked or torn and have a good cleaning surface to remove water and debris from your windshield.
  3. Give yourself plenty of time to drive to a location.
    • While most drivers are cautious on icy or snow-covered roads, they frequently fail to adjust their speed when driving in rain.
    • Few drivers notice early clues that they are about to lose directional control. When they do begin to skid, many drivers do not know proper braking or steering procedures. For instance, few drivers are aware they need a much greater stopping distance in rainy conditions. This additional stopping distance can vary by as much as 165 feet, from 125 feet on dry pavement to 290 feet on wet pavement at 50 mph. Always adjust your speed when roads are wet.
  4. Steering and Braking on a Slippery Surface
    • In order to steer your vehicle properly, sit in an upright, relaxed position and place your left hand between the 7 and 9 o’clock and your right hand between the 3 and 5 o’clock positions on the steering wheel.
    • Grip the wheel with fingers and thumbs. Do not grip too firmly, because the palms of your hands are not as sensitive as your fingers.
    • Look and steer in the direction you want to go, not at objects you want to miss. Avoid sudden moves or over-corrections.
    • When braking on a slippery surface, keep your heel on the floor and apply steady pressure to the brake pedal with your toes.
    • If your vehicle does not have anti-lock brakes (ABS) and starts to skid, ease up on the brake pedal while steering smoothly back to the desired path. Reapply brake pressure as needed. Vehicles with ABS will automatically adjust brake pressure if the wheels start to slide due to over-braking.

Stay Safe- Tampa Bay Driving Staff

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