- Check your tires
Car tires have treads, the pattern of grooves and channels along their circumference. The tread works to create grip on the road by channeling water, mud, and debris away from the contact patch. With use, the tread wears down and becomes much more likely to slip or spin on wet surfaces.
2. Inspect your windshield wipers
Without windshield wipers, wet weather driving would be like swimming without goggles. Rubber wiper blades collect grime and wear out, leading to streaks or inconsistent wet patches on the windshield. You can clean them by rubbing the blade with rubbing alcohol, but if you notice any cracks or chunks missing, it’s time to buy a new set. The motor and linkage that actually move the wipers can wear out, too, so if yours aren’t working properly, get them inspected to see what’s broken.
3. Turn on your headlights
Given how significantly rain can impact visibility, do everything you can to make yourself easy to see to other drivers. Driving a bright green exotic is one option, but there’s a far simpler solution – just turn on your headlights. It’s the least you can do to make yourself noticeable, and may be legally required in your state.
4. Avoid hydroplaning
The best way to avoid this situation altogether is to look far down the road and reduce speed when you approach a puddle.
5. Never use cruise control in the rain or wet road
Cruise control works to maintain a constant speed, so it greatly increases the chances of hydroplaning since it’s not smart enough to detect when there’s water on the road. Keep your car under full manual control any time you drive in the rain.
6. Slow way down
Rain forces drivers to adjust to a unfamiliar driving technique. Taking extra precautions and simple adjustments shouldn’t make your drive much longer and your car and more importantly, you, will arrive at your destination in one piece.