Wet Weather Driving Tips

When it’s wet and raining, your best practices for safety are slower speeds, better visibility, and firm control. By keeping up with some basic maintenance and following a few best practices, you can put yourself in a position of staying safe when the weather is wet.

Safe, Basic Wet Weather Driving Tips

1. Go Slow

Speed is your worst enemy when it’s wet. The biggest dangers in wet weather conditions are not being able to see, and not being able to control your vehicle. High speeds accelerate these problems. Take turns cautiously, anticipate unexpected problems and leave lots of room between your car, other cars, and any potential obstacles. When it’s raining, drive on the slow (or right lane) side to stay safe.

Feel your car for grip, especially on turns or when going over or through large amounts of water. Your tires have to unload almost a gallon of water per second with only one twelfth of an inch of water on the road, putting your car in a position to loose grip even at speeds as low as 35 miles per hour. If you’re driving in traffic, again leave ample room between your car and the car in front of you, and try to drive in that car’s tracks to give your tires less water to have to remove.

2. Go Easy In A Skid

If you do find yourself in a skid, try not to panic. Keep looking and steering in the direction you want the car to go, and try not to brake harshly.

3. Maintain Your Visibility

The middle of a storm or even a drizzle impedes with how much of the road you can see. That makes it hard to see how other drivers are reacting and to prepare for road problems like puddles, pot holes, or larger water hazards. Keeping your wiper blades fresh and your windshield clean is the simplest and one of the most effective ways to make sure you’re seeing as much as you can.

4. Check Your Bulbs and Clear Casings

Your vehicle’s exterior lights serve two purposes: driver visibility to see your surroundings and to be seen by other drivers. If you must turn on your wipers, also turn on the exterior lights. Be sure your headlights are on while driving during early sunrise or sunset. Just because you can see the road does not mean other drivers can see you. Your vehicle can become camouflaged under certain driving conditions creating a dangerous situation. Be safe and turn on your lights to be seen. Headlight bulbs have a much longer lifespan than wipers, but it’s important to replace them the minute you notice a problem. A light that doesn’t come on at all probably just needs a new bulb. If your headlights appear dim or do not display brightly, the headlight lens is faded or badly scratched. This is common on cars five years old or older. Headlight restoration kits and headlight or taillight assemblies are available from AutoZone.

5. Keep an Emergency Kit

AutoZone recommends keeping an emergency kit in your car in the event you find yourself on the side of the road.

Advice, how-to guides, and car care information featured on and AutoZone Advice & How-To’s are presented as helpful resources for general maintenance and automotive repairs from a general perspective only and should be used at your own risk. Information is accurate and true to the best of AutoZone’s knowledge, however, there may be omissions, errors or mistakes.

Be sure to consult your owner’s manual, a repair guide, an AutoZoner at a store near you, or a licensed, professional mechanic for vehicle-specific repair information. Refer to the service manual for specific diagnostic, repair and tool information for your particular vehicle. Always chock your wheels prior to lifting a vehicle. Always disconnect the negative battery cable before servicing an electrical application on the vehicle to protect its electrical circuits in the event that a wire is accidentally pierced or grounded. Use caution when working with automotive batteries. Sulfuric acid is caustic and can burn clothing and skin or cause blindness. Always wear gloves and safety glasses and other personal protection equipment, and work in a well-ventilated area. Should electrolyte get on your body or clothing, neutralize it immediately with a solution of baking soda and water. Do not wear ties or loose clothing when working on your vehicle.

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