Don’t Be a Crazy Driver in Fall Rain Weather [OPINION]
Oh my goodness gracious, doesn't it seem like every time it rains here in Sedalia someone starts driving like they lost their freggin mind? It seems like so many people just forget how to operate a motor vehicle when the weather changes just a littlest bit. Today's been a bit soggy, and you know that fall rain is a little different than summer rain, or any other kind of weather. So I thought I'd share a few things I've learned over the years.
These are just a few tips that I've picked up from my dad, my experience and just from watching people to see what NOT to do. You might not realize you're doing something that bothers other people or is a danger to someone else. And I may need a tip or two, after all.
So let me know if you agree with me, or if you think I'm way off base! I'm sure all of us drivers have an opinion or two, after all.
1. Be especially careful when the rain first starts.
When the roads are dry for a long period of time, engine oil and grease builds up on roads and highways. As soon as the first drops of rain start to fall, the water mixes with this build-up making the roads incredibly slick. This is why the first few hours of a rainstorm can be the most hazardous for drivers. If the rain continues to fall for a few more hours, the water will eventually wash away the greasy build-up.
2. Slow down.
This seems to be a huge thing that people forget. I don't know why everyone turns into a speed demon out there when the weather gets wet. You should always drive at a slower speed when the roads are wet. The faster you drive in a rainstorm, the more likely you are to have an accident. Leave the house earlier than usual to give yourself additional travel time so you won’t feel the urge to rush.
3. Brake earlier and slower.
Why do people always wait until right before they need to stop to brake? It seems to me that if you're hyper-conscious, you're better off. When you need to slow down or stop on wet roads, ease on the brakes earlier and with less force than you would normally. This decreases your risk of hydroplaning (which is scary as heckfire, I know) and keeps a safe distance between you and the car in front of you. It also alerts any drivers behind you to slow down. If you stop too suddenly in a rainstorm, you could get rear-ended.
4. Keep an eye out for pedestrians.
In a rainstorm, a pedestrian’s view of the road could be blocked by their rain slicker hood or umbrella, which means they may accidentally step into the road at the wrong time. If you are driving in a city or another area with pedestrians, keep a close eye out for people in the road. After all, pedestrians have the right of way, even if they aren't always right.
5. Turn on your headlights.
This one is huge to me. I even set my car to turn them on automatically just so I never violate this rule. Even if just a few raindrops are falling, turn on your headlights. Not only will this help you see the road, but it will help other drivers see you. However, don’t use your brights in the rain, this can actually reduce your visibility and blind other drivers. And few things are more annoying than unnecessary brights.
So don't be a jerk. Don't be that guy. Be safe, and drive right!