Ian BrittonDriving in the rain can be challenging, especially for young and inexperienced drivers. The windows become foggy, the lights from the other cars can cause blindness, and roads get slippery, which can lead to hydroplaning.

Hydroplaning occurs when water builds up under the car’s front tires, causing the car to lose contact with the road and slide.

With nearly 1.2 million traffic accidents each year due to wet pavement, it is important to always use caution in rainy and wet conditions. In the upcoming months, if you’re caught driving in the rain, these simple tips can avoid accidents and save a life.

  1. Leave room, drive slowly and carefully, especially on curves. Drivers should reduce their speed accordingly to the amount of water on the roadway. To avoid the risk of skidding, steer and brake lightly. Do not brake hard or lock the wheels when stopping or slowing down. Maintain mild pressure on the brake pedal.
  2. Turn on your headlights. According to the California Department of Motors Vehicles, California law requires drivers to use their headlights when low visibility requires the use of windshield wipers.
  3. If you find yourself hydroplaning, do not brake or turn suddenly. This could throw your car into a skid. Ease your foot off the gas until the car slows down and you can feel the road again. If your car has anti-lock brakes, then brake normally. The car's computer will automatically pump the brakes more efficiently than a person.
  4. Check your tires often. Avoid hydroplaning by keeping your tires inflated correctly. Maintain good tire tread. Don't put off replacing worn tires.
  5. Try to drive in the tire tracks left by the cars in front of you.
  6. Avoid Cruise Control. Most modern cars feature cruise control. This feature works great in dry conditions, but when used in wet conditions, the chance of losing control of the vehicle increase.
  7. Keep your eyes on the road. When driving in wet-weather conditions, it is important to fully concentrate on the road and driving.