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Thomas DeLattre and Glen D. Wieland

How to drive safely in Florida’s rain

On Behalf of | May 26, 2023 | Car Accident In Florida, Motor Vehicle Accidents |

Florida has one of the rainiest climates in the United States. Wet road conditions reduce tire traction, increasing the chance of motor vehicle accidents. However, you could adjust how you drive to improve your safety in rainy weather.

Slow down

Hydroplaning is possible with just one-twelfth of an inch of rain and a speed over 35 mph. Remember that the danger of driving in rainy conditions still exists when there isn’t active rainfall. Many people seem to forget because 70% of weather-related motor vehicle accidents occur when the pavement is wet, and 46% happen while it’s raining.

Pickup trucks and SUVs aren’t immune to hydroplaning. Regardless of your vehicle type or tires, you may want to follow the law on slowing down on wet roads. You might want to slow down by about one-third of the speed limit to stay safe. Predict how long it takes to stop to be twice as long too.

Maintain your tires

Worn tires increase your risk of hydroplaning. You could increase your safety in rainy weather by staying on top of your tire maintenance.

Check your windshield wipers

Auto manufacturers recommend that drivers check their windshield wipers every six months. Replacing them at the first sign of damage helps prevent a situation in which you need the wipers but they aren’t working.

Maintain visibility

If you’re having trouble seeing through your windshield, you could turn on the defroster to improve visibility. Traffic authorities advise that you use your low beam headlights in rainy weather to maintain visibility. High-beam headlights are too reflective, which could harm your ability to gauge your surroundings accurately.

Some drivers make the mistake of turning on their hazard lights in the rain. Florida police will issue citations when they see people using their hazard lights in a non-emergency situation. Hazard lights may override turn signals, making it more dangerous to change lanes and make turns.

An exception to this rule is if you’re traveling over 55 mph in low visibility conditions. However, you need to know whether your turn signals work if you plan on changing lanes.

Whether it’s actively raining or the pavement is wet, drivers must slow down and stay alert to prevent accidents. Maintaining your vehicle, particularly your tires and windshield wipers is also important.

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