Heavy Rain Driving Tips

Posted on: June 20th, 2019 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

rain driving tipsWe’re officially out of snowy season in the Front Range (thank goodness) but if you’ve been here for any length of time, you know that the sunny hiking season often brings heavy storms in the afternoons. They move through quickly, but with a lot of power behind them, and it’s important to know how to deal with that if you’re on the road. From prevention to things you can do when you’re caught in the middle of a downpour, here are some of our best tips for driving in heavy rain. The fact of the matter is, we see just about as many collisions here at the auto body shop as a result of thunderstorms as snowstorms.

Pull Over

If the rain is really coming down, we always recommend pulling over if you can manage to do so. It’s the safest option for you and those around you. Thankfully, in Denver and surrounding areas, the storms we see in the afternoons often pass through quickly, so pulling over and waiting ten minutes to see if it lightens up is always our first suggestion.

Beware of Hydroplaning

One of the biggest dangers with torrential rains is the chance of hydroplaning. A sudden influx of water on the roads can make it harder for your vehicle to gain traction. If you find yourself hydroplaning, it’s important to remember NOT to press on the gas. Calmy take your foot off the gas and steer in the direction your car needs to go. Do not turn abruptly or press on the brakes, either.

Headlights and Hazards

Many vehicles come equipped with an auto-on for headlights, and having this feature in place is very helpful when inclement weather rears its head. Ensuring your headlights are on any time the rain starts falling, especially when it stars falling heavily, is key to alerting other drivers to your position. If the downpour is exceptionally rough and you’re driving at a much slower pace than you normally would, sometimes turning your hazards on can be a good idea, as well. It can alert oncoming drivers to the fact that you are driving slowly and they should take precaution as needed.

Ventilate

When the rain pours down, the humidity rises, and that can mean fogged up windshields. Visibility is already reduced in the case of heavy rainfall, so furthering that issue with a fogged up windshield is not helpful. Make sure to ventilate your vehicle properly (most will have a setting specifically to help with this – the windshield symbol with the squiggly lines going up through it).

Don’t Follow Closely

You should always keep an adequate amount of distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you no matter what the weather, but it’s especially important when rain is falling heavily. With weather like that, the vehicle in front of you may hydroplane unexpectedly, or be forced to slow down quickly, and you want to allow plenty of space for you to react as needed and keep yourself and any other drivers nearby as safe as possible.

The Danger of Standing Water

Perhaps the most dangerous part of driving in heavy rain is standing water. It seems harmless enough, but heavy rain can cause flash flooding and instances of standing water that could very well sweep your car away, make you lose control, or negatively impact the electrical components of your vehicle. Standing water also greatly increases your chances of hydroplaning. All in all, if you see standing water in your way and can alter your route, we highly recommend that.

There is plenty to be on the lookout for when the heavens open up and the rain starts pouring down, but with properly maintained tires, and a good understanding of the safety measures you should take, you should be just fine! If you find yourself with a damaged car requiring auto body repair in the aftermath of a rainy day, give us a call. Our experienced team will get you back on the road in no time.

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