5 tips for staying safe when driving in the rain

According to Transport Canada, over 25,000 people were injured in traffic collisions due to wet pavement in 2016, and difficult weather is becoming increasingly common every year. Follow these five tips to ensure you and your passengers stay safe when driving in wet conditions.

1. Focus 

Rainy weather alters most aspects of driving. Visibility is reduced, your vehicle reacts more slowly and other drivers are more unpredictable. Avoid distractions and stay focused on what’s going on around you.

2. Turn on your headlights
Headlights allow you to see the road better and make you more visible to other drivers. Moreover, it’s illegal to drive without headlights on in low visibility conditions anywhere in Canada.

3. Beware of aquaplaning
Aquaplaning, also known as hydroplaning, happens when a layer of water builds up between the road and your tires, causing them to lose traction. This can lead you to lose control of your vehicle. All it takes for aquaplaning to occur is one-fifth of a centimetre of water on the road and a speed of about 55 km/h.

If you start to hydroplane, take your foot off the gas pedal and maintain a straight course until you regain control. Avoid hitting the brakes as this can cause your car to spin. If your car does start spinning, turn in the direction you’re spinning. Fight the instinct to jerk the steering wheel in the opposite direction, as it could cause your car to flip over.

4. Turn off your cruise control
Using cruise control to maintain a steady speed may seem like a good idea when driving on slick roads, but it’s actually dangerous. First, the system’s sensors could be affected by the dampness. Second, cruise control could, ironically, make it more difficult to control your car

5. Slow down
The speed limits posted along the road assume optimal driving conditions, meaning low traffic, good visibility and favourable weather. Rain reduces visibility and slows down your car’s reaction time, so make sure to ease up on the gas when driving in the rain. You should also maintain a greater following distance from other cars.

Pick the right driving school
Whether you’re learning how to drive or upgrading your skills, picking the right truck driving school is important. With a service area that includes Surrey and Coquitlam, North Shore Driving School is a great choice for people residing on the Lower Mainland. Contact us today to find out more about our programs.

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