Welcome back to the VIP European Auto blog! Last month we had an in-depth drive on some of the best car shows and groups to take part in over the coming month. This time, we wanted to mention some safety tips specifically for driving in the rain. While Arizona isn’t the wettest place on Earth, we do occasionally have these bursts and we figure it’s worth mentioning.
Driving in The Rain
Few moments can simultaneously be as peaceful, relaxing, meditative, and stressful, white-knuckle grip inducing like driving in the rain. The steady pitter-patter of the water on top of the car, the measured, steady swipe of the windshield wipers. It can be quite the experience. That is, until somebody starts hydroplaning and ends up in a ditch, or blocking the road in front of you, or stuck in a sudden flash flood.
There are dangers to driving in the rain, there are no two ways about it. Even though, as we mentioned, Arizona rarely gets much of it, it can still be a hazard, in fact even more so because of that fact. People aren’t as experienced driving through the inclement weather, some have never had to brave a storm. Never mind the fact that our infrastructure itself isn’t built to handle it in places!
Here are the tips everyone should remember to be able to drive safely in the rain.
Plenty of folks will complain about this one, after all when you’re out on the road you’re trying to get somewhere. Having to slow down, or have someone else slowing down traffic for everyone can be a drag. But the truth is, the surest way to stay in control of your vehicle in heavy rain is to slow down. You’ll better avoid hydroplaning that way, and have more time to react to any other adverse conditions created by other drivers. If you haven’t hit the road yet and the rain just started? Wait a few minutes! When the rains first begin to fall they mix with oils on the surface of the asphalt making for a very difficult surface to drive on. Simply delay your trip a few minutes to let that mixture works its way off the roads.
With heavy rains come clouds, overcast and dark, and as the rain pours harder the visibility goes down drastically. Turning your headlights on isn’t for you, however, it’s to help others see you in the gloom. You want to make sure you are visible no matter what, especially if you’re driving slower than the recommended speed limit to keep from hydroplaning. This way no one will rush up behind and rear end you.
Keep in mind, you’re not the only driver out there on the wet roads having to deal with these adverse conditions. For that reason, try and provide as much space between you and the cars in front of you. You want to make sure everyone has enough wiggle room that should something go wrong, something slips up, there is room for that error to be corrected without colliding into anyone else, namely you!
How to Stop Hydroplaning
Should all those pieces of advice fail you and you find your tires slipping remember these steps to halt hydroplaning!
- Immediately take your foot off the gas!
And don’t slam the breaks either, that can cause you to completely lose control of your vehicle.
- Turn GENTLY Into the Hydroplane
What may seem contradictory at first, it’s important that your tires get realigned. By turning into the hydroplane your tires get that chance to regain their coordination and footing.
- Wait for the Connection
As the driver, you’ll immediately feel when your tires have regained their traction and you have control once again. Wait for that moment.
- You’ve Recovered!
Good job! Now you may want to pull over and rest for a minute or two to regain your composure. Hydroplaning can be an incredibly scary experience and continuing to drive right after may be impaired due to nerves. You got this, take a breather, reset and get back on the road when you feel ready.
We hope you don’t have to use any of these tips during the cruises and park-ins, or any other time for that matter but if you find yourself in the situation you now have the know-how. We’ll see you next time on the blog!