Did you know that nearly half of all weather-related accidents occur during rainfall? This may be a surprising statistic to many, but according to the U.S. Department of Transportation 46% of accidents caused by weather happen in the rain. Furthermore, 70% of all weather-related accidents occur when pavement is wet.
These statistics clearly show the need to take caution when driving in rain and that even the smallest amount of rainfall can increase the chances of you being in an accident.
There are many reasons why driving in rain increases the likelihood of an accident and it is important to be aware of them the next time you drive in rainy conditions.
Oil is pushed to the road’s surface
One issue that comes with driving in rain is the road becoming slick or slippery. Many people believe this is due to the water on the road, but it is also caused by oils being pushed to the surface from the falling rain. These motor oils, along with the rainwater, decrease tire traction, cause sliding and can even lead to you losing control of the vehicle.
The problem becomes even bigger when there is a light rain, as there is not enough water to clean the oils from the surface (only enough to float them up).
Rainwater can hide potholes & debris
Another danger of driving in rain is that potholes and debris can be hidden by puddles or standing water. Many people drive through puddles without thinking twice, but they are something that you should avoid whenever possible.
If you unsuspectingly drive into a pothole that is filled with water, you can flatten or damage the tire, create poor wheel alignment and more.
Hydroplaning becomes an issue
The biggest issue of driving in rain comes from hydroplaning. Hydroplaning typically occurs when you drive through standing water and it can cause you to lose traction and skid along the surface of the road.
Hydroplaning can be avoided by changing lanes or driving around standing water when possible. If you are forced to drive through standing water and you feel the vehicle hydroplaning, simply take your foot off the gas and continue steering in your intended direction.
You should also be aware of standing water that is deeper on one side of the vehicle. This is often encountered near center medians or in the curbside lane. This can pull your vehicle towards the deeper water and out of your travel lane. A firm grip should be kept on the steering wheel in the event you need to drive through water of this nature.
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