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Tips for Driving in the Rain

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Henry Wadsworth said, “Into every life a little rain must fall.” His meaning was philosophical, but it’s true with driving too. As a driver, you can most certainly count on driving in the rain at some point. Here are some helpful tips and reminders for driving in the rain.

While you should periodically check these things, it’s particularly important before driving in the rain:

  • Make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition and clear your windshield properly so you have good visibility.
  • Check your tire tread.  If tires are “bald” they can’t grip wet pavement, and you run the risk of hydroplaning.
  • Make sure your headlights, tail lights and brake lights all work so other cars can see you. (Rain dims visibility.)
  • Check to see if your window defroster is working in case the windows fog up, which can sometimes happen in the rain.


  • Slow down! Your car’s response time isn’t as quick in wet, slick conditions, and speeding can cause you to hydroplane.
  • Turn on your windshield wipers and adjust the speed to the amount of rain that’s coming down.
  • Turn on your headlights. Some people mistakenly believe you need to turn on your hazard lights too, but this can cause confusion among other drivers. In some states, using hazard lights when your vehicle is moving is illegal.
  • Keep a safe distance between you and the car in front of you.
  • Don’t use cruise control. It’s easy to hydroplane on wet roads, and cruise control can make hydroplaning worse because it keeps the car going at a constant speed.
  • Don’t hit the brakes hard. Instead, give yourself plenty of time to stop so you can take your foot off the accelerator before needing to apply the brakes.
  • Don’t drive through standing water—you don’t know what’s underneath it or how deep it is, and if it’s too deep it can damage your car’s engine or send it floating like a boat that you have no control over.
  • If you find yourself hydroplaning, just take your foot off the gas—don’t hit the brakes, as tempting as that might be. Also, turn the steering wheel in the direction the car should be going.

We hope you find these tips helpful and you encounter more sunny days than rainy ones when you are driving. 

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