This fall and winter have been predicted to bring plenty of rain to Houston, Texas, and the surrounding areas. Unfortunately, this can lead to unsafe driving conditions during your daily commute. While icy roads may not be a problem until winter comes along, wet roads can dramatically increase your chances of being involved in a collision as well. As a leading body shop and collision center in Houston, Texas, Santa Ana Body Shop understands that it’s important to know how to avoid problems when driving in rainy conditions this season, so we’ve laid out some tips to help you drive safely on wet roads:
- Stay Alert
When driving on your daily commute to or from work, it’s easy to go into “auto pilot” mode and let your mind wander while you drive your normal route. While this is never recommended, it’s especially dangerous when the roadway conditions are less than ideal. When driving in the rain, or on any wet surface, be sure to actively engage in your driving and stay alert. This allows you to better respond to any unexpected events, like hydroplaning.
- Take Care When Switching Lanes
Unfortunately, some drivers don’t follow the general rule of thumb to have your headlights on when driving in the rain. This can make them difficult to see, especially if you only quickly glance at your mirror before changing lanes. To safely switch lanes and ensure you see any cars in the next lane, be sure to check your blind spot by looking over your shoulder in addition to looking in your mirror. This will help you spot even hard-to-see drivers in order to smoothly change lanes.
- Don’t Use Cruise Control
While cruise control is a useful way to maintain your speed and improve your gas mileage on long drives, it is best saved for when the roads are dry. This feature works by keeping your vehicle at a constant speed, which can be a problem if your car begins hydroplaning. Save cruise control for sunny days and use your brake and gas pedal to maintain control on a rainy drive.
- Reduce Your Speed
Many drivers are surprised to learn that hydroplaning can happen at speeds as low as 35 miles per hour. While it isn’t always feasible to drive at speeds lower than 35 MPH, it is important that you do reduce your speed on wet roads to keep yourself and other drivers safe. A good rule of thumb is to reduce your speed by 1/3 when roadway conditions are wet or slippery.
This season’s rain can be concerning for drivers, but these tips can help you stay safe and avoid hydroplaning or a collision on your commute. For professional auto body work and collision repair in Houston, Texas, give the experts at Santa Ana Body Shop a call at (713) 956-0524.