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4 tips for safe driving in the rain

Photo of Harlan Thompson

Get ready for slick roads as the weather warms up.

New York may be getting snow now, but as the weather turns warmer we can expect to start seeing rain any day now. With rain comes a variety of challenges for motorists, such as slick roads, impaired visibility and unpredictable behavior from other drivers.

While some people find driving in the rain very stressful, others think it's no big deal. Both opinions are justified - while rainy conditions are a leading cause of car accidents, there are steps you can take to minimize your chance of an accident. Read on to learn how to keep yourself and your travel companions safe.

  1. Get your vehicle ready - Keeping your car in good working condition can help you avoid an accident before you even get behind the wheel. Always keep an eye on your tires, lights and windshield wipers - and repair or replace them to make sure your equipment doesn't let you down in bad conditions.
  2. Don't crowd other cars - Slippery roads may require more distance for you to slow down or fully stop. Increase the distance between your vehicle and the one you are following, and try to avoid being surrounded by cars in adjacent lanes - you may need to swerve to avoid an accident if the car in front of you suddenly stops. Start braking for stops and turns earlier than you normally would.
  3. Skip the high beams - According to the New York DMV, rain and other moisture can reflect high headlight beams and make it more difficult to see. Keeping your headlights low and slowing down will give you the best visibility, and avoid blinding other drivers.
  4. Watch your speed - It seems simple, but reducing your speed is one of the most effective ways to prevent an accident. It can also minimize the impact of a crash if one happens. Rain reduces the traction of your tires, which can cause your car to hydroplane on slick roads after a rainstorm. Stay safe by reducing your speed by a third on wet roads.

Do you have other safety tips for driving in inclement weather? Share them below!

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