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Driving Safe in California Rain

Tips for California Drivers: Safe Driving on Rainy Days

Driving during the winter months can be a challenge for even the most experienced of drivers. Whether you’re dealing with rain, ice or snow, driving during the winter can present hazardous conditions that set the stage for an increased chance of becoming involved in an auto accident.

In Southern California, we consider ourselves lucky to live in a dry, moderate climate. While much of the nation is under siege from storms and blizzard conditions during the winter, we rarely face such severe winter weather.

One risk factor for Southern California drivers is that when we finally get a rainy day, we are not prepared to drive in the rain. Too often, Southern California drivers continue to drive the same as we do when the sun is out. We also lack experience driving in the rain because of our limited number of total annual rain days.

Another factor impacting Southern California drivers on rainy days is that we are at an increased risk of “hydroplaning” during the initial stages of a rain shower, and during sudden downpours.

While many of our freeways do a good job of channeling rain, heavy downpours can flood highways, roads and streets. In addition to flooding, accumulated road oils can mix with rain to create hazardous conditions. These rain-related conditions may cause drivers to lose control of their vehicle and skid off the road, or slide into nearby drivers.

With Armor Insurance as your car insurance agent in California, we can review your policy and discuss changes that may add protection from financial risks associated with driving your car or truck in the rain.

If you are not an Armor customer, request a California car insurance quote, or learn about car insurance options and discounts. Armor’s expert car insurance guidance can give you the peace of mind you’ve been missing!

10 tips to help reduce rain-related risks on rainy days:

  1. Check windshield wipers before driving. Make sure your wipers are in working condition. Heat and constant sun can deteriorate wipers. We often forget to check them before the first rain of the season.
  2. Check tires before driving. Be certain your tires have adequate tread for wet weather and that the air pressure is appropriate for anticipated driving conditions (check your vehicle service manual for details).
  3. Be extra cautious. Don’t forget to check mirrors, turn your head and be fully aware of other drivers around you at all times, especially when driving through heavy traffic in the rain.
  4. Pay attention. Rain can result in reduced visibility while driving. Avoid distractions, stay off your cell phone, and pay close attention to the conditions and drivers around you.
  5. Slow down. Adjust speed for conditions. You gain reaction time by driving slower in the rain, enabling you to maintain control, avoid accidents and unexpected hazards such as fallen trees, debris, or flooded areas.
  6. Allow room between vehicles. Give yourself extra space between your car and others when driving during the rain, especially when driving at higher speeds on highways and freeways.
  7. Avoid unnecessary lane changes. If you need to change lanes, use your turn indicators and give other drivers adequate time to react.
  8. Avoid sudden stops. Slamming your brakes in the rain can lead to skidding or temporary loss of brake effectiveness from water accumulating on the brakes, risking an accident.
  9. Leave early. When heading out for work or school on a rainy day, leave early to avoid rushing while driving. This extra time can help you drive slower to reduce the risk of being involved in an accident.
  10. Review your insurance policy. Contact your car insurance agent to make sure that you have adequate coverage should you become involved in an accident.

While we experience few rainy days on an annual basis, we should remind ourselves to exercise more caution when we do drive in the rain.