Warm weather means the arrival of the rainy season in Illinois. The span from May through August is when most of the state’s rain will fall. Acts of nature like rain, wind and storms also pose potential hazards for all drivers. Heavy rains can cause your vehicle to hydroplane, which occurs when your vehicle loses traction and loses control on a slick road. If your vehicle loses control like this, stopping before causing damage to your vehicle, property, and other vehicles will be difficult.
Get those windshield wipers going
However, driving in the rain doesn’t have to be a scary experience. After all, if you can survive driving through snow storms in the winter, you can manage driving during the rainy season. A few tips for driving in the rain include:
- Don’t rush. If you must drive in heavy rain, plan to leave early. Traffic can increase during a storm because drivers slow down for a safer drive. Don’t wait until the last minute and leave a little earlier than normal for your destination so you won’t feel rushed or do risky things like speed in bad weather.
- Increase your following distance. You know tailgating is a foolish driving behavior. However, your following distance should increase even more in bad weather. Wet roads, like icy roads, require greater stopping distances. Factors like the conditions of a vehicle’s brakes and tires and the reaction times of other drivers also influence this. Give yourself enough time to react to a potential hazard.
- Turn on your headlights. Not only is using your headlights during a rain storm smart during the day, it’s the law. Illinois state law requires that you have your headlights on if you’re using your windshield wipers, too. This is especially easy if you have automatic headlights since they come on during bad weather when the sky gets darker.
It’s okay to wait out the storm
If you can help it, do your best to stay off the road during bad weather. While this is not always possible, sometimes it’s best to wait out a storm to ensure safe passage to your destination. Remember to keep safety as a top priority if you must head out on the road in bad weather.