Because New Mexico drivers usually don’t deal with rainy driving conditions on a regular basis, it’s essential to remember these safety tips for when you do find yourself driving in the rain.
Wet roads are dangerous, and your car has a slower reaction time on wet surfaces. While it’s tempting to drive at your normal speed, you should be driving at or below the posted speed limit during wet weather. Depending on the severity of the weather, you may find yourself going considerably slower than the speed limit in order to stay safe.
Utilize Your Car’s Equipment
Your vehicle’s headlights and windshield wipers are there for a reason. It’s important to use all of the tools at your disposal when driving to keep yourself and other drivers safe. Turn on your headlights, even in light rain, to increase your visibility and that of other cars on the road. Using your front and rear windshield wipers will also increase your visibility.
Go Easy on the Brakes
You’ll need to brake slower than normal in wet conditions to ensure a safe stop. Giving yourself more time to stop, let off the gas and allow your car to decelerate naturally as much as possible. Avoid heavy braking while the road is wet, as this can cause your brakes to lock and your car to slide.
Keep a Safe Distance Between Cars
The best way to avoid heavy braking is by keeping a healthy distance of several car lengths between you and the car in front of you. This will give you plenty of room to maneuver your car in the rain and come to a stop safely.
Understand and Avoid Hydroplaning
Hydroplaning occurs when you drive through standing water and the grooves of your tires can’t displace enough water to keep traction on the road. This is a major cause of accidents and can cause the driver to lose control of their vehicle.
Avoid standing water while driving, and slow down if you must go through it. If you end up hydroplaning, let off the gas and steer in the direction your car needs to go. Don’t brake, and don’t panic.
Consider Not Driving
If the weather conditions are bad enough, consider waiting to drive until they’re better. No destination is more important than the lives of you and your passengers.