Tips for Driving in the Rain Safely in Florida
April showers bring May flowers! This is especially true in Florida, where most of the spring and summer involve rainy days during the afternoon. Driving on slick, wet roads can be dangerous, and can increase the chance of vehicles hydroplaning or drifting.
We’ve compiled some tips for driving in the rain safely in Florida. This will allow you to prepare for wet weather driving as the rainy season comes upon us, so you can reduce your risk of a car accident.
Before You Drive On Wet Roadways
Before going on the road, you should always make sure your windshield wipers are working properly and not leaving streaks on your windshield, as this creates glare and can obstruct your vision (and it’s already hard enough to see while driving in the rain).
Are your tires inflated and treaded? Checking the pressure can help see if you need to inflate before you drive again. This will protect you and ensure your vehicle has the right amount of traction while on the road, especially during wet conditions. Also, check your headlights and brake lights, because these are pivotal for other drivers to see you on the road, and for you to see the vehicle ahead during inclement weather and at night.
Safety First: Rainy Weather Driving Tips
No matter how late you are, it’s not worth your or someone else’s safety to rush in rainy weather. Doing so places everyone around you in jeopardy – during rainy weather and otherwise. If you rush, you could lose control in wet weather conditions.
Drive Slower Than the Speed Limit
Always drive slower than the speed limit in a reasonable manner. You can get pulled over for going the speed limit depending on weather conditions.
Florida statute §316.183 states: “No person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing.
Don’t Turn Your Hazards On
Turning on your hazard lights while you drive in the rain is illegal in Florida. Statute §316.241 states: “Flashing lights are prohibited on vehicles except… indicating a right or left turn, to change lanes, or to indicate that the vehicle is lawfully stopped or disabled upon the highway.”
If you feel your safety is compromised while driving on a wet road, remain calm and make sure to pull over until the rain lightens up enough to continue driving.
How to Avoid Hydroplaning
To avoid hydroplaning, avoid hard braking or suddenly stopping. Hydroplaning means your tires get more traction on the layer of water on the road than the road itself, causing your vehicle to slide forward uncontrollably.
Turn Cruise Control Off
Don’t use cruise control. Cruise control is mainly for interstate driving, when there is a wide stretch of road ahead of you and it isn’t raining. It’s very dangerous to drive in cruise control with a wet road surface, as your car can hydroplane forward at a more rapid rate.
Most Importantly, Be Attentive!
Many people drive out of habit, or subconsciously. But no matter how many times you’ve driven the same route home from work, be extra cautious and hyper-aware of your surroundings during rainy conditions.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, over a 10-year period, wet pavement during rainfall has accounted for 73% of crashes.
Injured In a Rainy Weather Car Accident in Florida?
If you’ve been in an accident involving rain, or wish to speak to a personal injury, we invite you to contact us to learn more about helping you through the difficult experience following a crash. Our hometown team of car accident attorneys services Hernando County and Hillsborough County.