How to Drive Safely in Rain

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To drive safely in the rain, reduce the speed by at least five miles per hour, turn on the windshield wipers for greater visibility and turn on the headlights to be seen better by other drivers. Avoid hydroplaning while driving in the rain with safety tips from a driving instructor in this free video on driving lessons.

Part of the Video Series: Driving Tips & Road Safety
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Video Transcript

Hey. Rick, the driving instructor, again. This time, we're talking about driving in the rain. Okay. Hey, the thing you've got to remember about driving in the rain. Two things, real important: visibility and your speed. And something really important called hydroplaning. You've probably heard of that before, but here's the deal on hydroplaning. Okay. When you're going too fast for the water situation, in other words, the amount of water on the road. You think your tires are in contact with the pavement. They're not. What you're doing is you're driving along, and the feel of the wheel normally kind of lets you know whether you've got that feeling or not, kind of iffy feeling if you've got contact. What's happening is the water is not being properly tracked through the tread of your tires sufficiently to keep your tires in contact with the pavement. So what you're actually doing; you're motor boating on a thin film of water on pavement. So that's what you have to remember. And you won't know it until it's too late, because when you go to turn that steering wheel, instead of it responding like it normally does, you turn the wheel and you go sliding in the direction you don't want to- usually in the guardrail or in the ditch. So the way to reduce hydroplaning in rainy situations is reduce your speed. You've got to reduce your speed a little bit to allow the tires to maintain contact with the pavement to avoid that motor boating effect. Generally speaking, the thing you want to do there is for speeds over 35 miles an hour, you want to reduce your speed by five miles per hour for every posted speed limit. So for example, if it's posted 40 miles an hour and it's raining cats and dogs out here, you need to reduce it down to 35. Okay. For speeds at 35 or below, generally you don't have to reduce the speed, but that's going to depend on the shape of your tires. Your tires determine an awful lot on how well you maintain traction. So even though it's a little bit of heavy rain and you're not going that fast, if your tires are in bad shape, like they're bald and the tread ware is gone, you could hydroplane as little as 20, 25 miles an hour. So remember that. The last thing has to do with the visibility. You have to be visible by all the other cars or drivers out on the road the same time you are. That's why headlights need to be on. My state insists that when your windshield wipers are on, your headlights have to be on at the same time. Think about it. If your windshield wipers are on, it usually means it's raining. And it also means your visibility is going to be reduced. Therefore, headlights; having them on is going to let the other drivers see you. Remember, it's a two-way street. It's not that you need to be seen by other drivers. You want them to see you. And they can also watch out for other drivers, as well. So that's the tip. Keep your headlights on and slow your speed down. And that's the secret to driving safely in the rain.

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