Spring Driving Tips: Adjust for Wet Weather Conditions
April showers bring May flowers. However, the rain brings on more risk for car crashes. In the U.S. car crashes account for over 30,000 deaths and over 2 million injuries each year. According to NHTSA, rain and/or other weather conditions are the cause of approximately 3-4% of car crashes. We’ve created an infographic below, breaking down the numbers for the car crash causation attributed to the environment. You can read the full report over Car Seat Causation here; it’s very interesting: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812115.pdf
Driving is risky enough. In fact, it’s one of the highest risk activities we do and it’s done on a daily basis. When you add in a little rain, wind, wet roads, poor visibility and other driver’s lack of driving skills in these conditions, it’s no wonder why there is an increase in crashes on a rainy day. There is something about human behavior which impairs our ability to take precautions when hitting the wet, winding roads. In an “unofficial” survey, Scott Marshall, Director of Training Young Drivers in Canada, spoke with drivers to understand their perception of what should be kept in mind when driving on rainy days. https://safedriving.wordpress.com/2014/09/11/blame-it-on-the-rain/ . The results were astounding! His conclusion is that it’s not the rain or wet roads that cause accidents, it’s the driver not adjusting to the road conditions and fellow drivers. To help keep you safe, we’ve made a simple list of tips to remind you to be conscious of your weather conditions and how to adapt for safer travel.
Safety Tips for Rainy Days
- 1. Check tires for proper tread depth and air inflation. It’s important that tires can grip the road in wet conditions. Tread and air pressure are key to keeping the car on the road.
- 2. New wiper blades every year. Even if you live in a state with little rain, wiper blades can become dry and worn out. Good working wiper blades help you see the road better.
- 3. Brake inspection. A visual inspection by a certified mechanic is always best. Good brakes are essential for being able to stop quickly, or better yet, slowly, way before you need to stop.
- 4. Keep a safe distance. The rule of thumb has always been one car length for every 10 MPH. Why not make it two car lengths when it’s raining? This way, you have plenty of time to stop before making an impact with the car ahead of you.
- 5. Wipers on, lights on! This helps increase your visibility and allows others to see your vehicle easily in the rain, especially if you have a grey car which tends to blend in on a rainy day. Plus, it’s the law in many states.http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8390/8680030967_1fbd2b2227_b.jpg
- 6. Don’t use cruise control. You want complete control over your vehicle when it’s rainy. Don’t leave it up to a computer to keep you safe!
It goes without saying to buckle your seat belt, secure your child properly in the correct car seat, and give yourself a little extra time to travel during rainy days. This way, you will drive at a safe speed on the way to your destination. Everyone will arrive safe and sound and we can all look forward to seeing the daisies and daffodils in bloom from all the rain!