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What you don’t know about driving in the rain can put you in the hospital

The weather in Kansas can be unpredictable and dangerous at times. Make sure you follow these tips for driving in wet weather.

Ten tips for safety

  • Most important thing is to SLOW DOWN! It takes longer to stop on wet roads.

  • Try to avoid the outside lanes where there can be big puddles.

  • Follow the 3 second rule to maintain a safe following distance.

  • Follow the tracks made by the car in front of you.

  • Don’t follow large vehicles closely; the spray from their large tires reduces your vision.

  • Be cautious when passing large vehicles as well. If passing is inevitable, do so swiftly and cautiously.

  • Make sure you are attentive and watching for brake lights.

  • To slow down, take your foot off the accelerator. Don’t use your brakes if possible.

  • Even if it’s just a sprinkling, turn on your lights.

  • If the water is deeper than the bottom of your car doors, do not drive through it.

Things to prepare your car for before it rains

  • You should replace your wipers at least once a year. Old wipers may not clear your windshield properly, making it hard to see.

  • Check your tires. Tires that are bald can reduce your traction on wet roads, which may cause you to hydroplane.

  • The humidity from the rain may fog up your windows. Make sure that your A/C and defrost are working properly.

Things to know

  • Before you leave – Always make sure your head lights, tail lights, brake lights and turn signals all work correctly. If your shoes are wet, it’s possible they will slip off the pedals. You have a smaller window for mistakes during wet weather driving, so before you begin your travels, wipe your soles on the rubber matting or carpeting of your floor.

  • Preventing and managing a skid – You can avoid skidding on wet roads by driving extra slowly and cautiously. Remember to take extra care on curves and slow before you enter the curve. However, if you do begin to skid, don’t panic. If you steer into the skid, you will easily line up again. To do this, simply ease your foot off the gas and gently steer your car in the direction you want the front of the car to go. If your car does not have anti-lock brakes you should not use your brakes.

  • Driving Through Water – Under no circumstance should you ever drive through moving water that you cannot see the ground. This could lead to the water sweeping your car off the road. When approaching a flooded region, stop to check the water level ahead. If the water is higher than the bottom of your car doors, it would be wise to find another route. You can easily damage your electronic control systems by entering water that is too deep. Take extra caution at night because it is more difficult to see the water dangers. If you decide the water level is not dangerous, go slowly as to not make large waves in the water.

  • Test your brakes – After passing through deep-water, your brakes may be saturated. Driving slowly and braking lightly will produce heat to dry them out. Be certain they are evenly pulling on all wheels before resuming your prior speed.

  • Oil collections – Especially if it has been dry, oil spots can be extremely slick. Oil deposits tend to collect at intersections due to cars stopping and starting there constantly. These spots are most dangerous immediately after the rain starts, but eventually they will wash off the road. Take extra precaution to be prepared to stop when going through intersections where these oily deposits can be found.

  • Heavy rain – If your visibility is limited, it’s time to pull over. The heavy rain usually only last for a few minutes and you will be safe to drive again soon. Although rest areas and other protected areas are ideally the best place to pull over, if you decide to pull over on the roadside, pull over as far away as possible and at the end of a guardrail.

The most important thing to remember is to slow down. Stay alert and be aware of other drivers. If the rain is too heavy to see, pull over and wait for it to pass.

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Ray Hodge & Associates proudly represents victims and their families across the state of Kansas, including Wichita, Andover, Derby, Goddard, Haysville, Mulvane, Rose Hill, Newton, El Dorado and Hutchinson. Call today for a free consultation all over the state of Kansas. We have proudly served clients in Sedgwick, Butler, Sumner, Harvey, Kingman and Reno Counties.