During the night hours on Nov. 7, there were multiple car crashes in Memphis due to slippery streets caused by rain. These crashes resulted in severe injuries and closed streets and highways, according to WMC Action News 5. These accidents highlight the difficulty of driving in wet conditions, especially at night.
Two of these crashes involved semi-trucks with a truck hitting the back of a vehicle, which sent one person to the hospital in critical condition, according to News 5. In another crash a driver was taken to the hospital after their vehicle ran underneath a semi-truck.
Driving in the rain can be a real challenge to drivers especially those that may not know what to do. Here are five things you definitely shouldn’t do when driving in the rain.
1. Don’t Speed in the Rain
When driving through the rain at night, slowing down can be critical to reducing a car’s chance of hydroplaning — which occurs when a vehicle loses traction and slides on a film of water, according to AAA. To reduce chances of hydroplaning, you should avoid hard braking, and drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you.
Also, it’s important that you allow enough stopping distance between your car and the one in front of you by expanding the distance between cars, so that you can carefully slow down to stop for intersections, turns and other traffic early, according to AAA.
2. Don’t Use High Beam Lights
Motorists may believe that putting their high beam lights on while driving in the rain, can make it easier to see what is in front of them. But that is not the case.
High headlight beams reflect rain, fog, and and snow as they fall, according to the Tennessee DMV. The reflecting light from your high beam lights, combined with the rain on your windshield, can make it harder for you to see when driving.
For better visibility when it’s raining at night, you should keep your headlights on low beam, according to the DMV.
3. Don’t Drive Toward the Side of the Road
It is important that if you are driving in the rain at night, that you stay toward the center lane to avoid hitting a pool of water, that may cause you to lose control of your car. Roads are built so that they are highest in the middle lane, which causes rain water to run off the center hump and drain toward the edges, according to AAA.
Runoff water can accumulate and become standing water, which can cause a dangerous situation for a driver who drives over it. The water may be deeper than expected and your car can get stuck, and the water can even cause serious damage to your vehicle’s electrical system, according to AAA.
4. Don’t Use Cruise Control
Cruise Control may appear to be a viable option for drivers who don’t want to constantly go back and forth from the gas to the brake pedal. However, you should not rely on cruise control during wet weather, because the chance of losing control of your vehicle can increase, according to AAA.
If you want to prevent losing traction on a wet road, it can be difficult to reduce the car’s speed by lifting off the gas pedal, because cruise control is engaged, according to AAA. It is important that you concentrate on every aspect of driving, so that you can quickly respond if you lose traction on the road.
5. Don’t Drive If You Can’t See Through the Windshield
Heavy rain can make it difficult to see through your windshield, especially if it is overloading your wiper blades. This can create a dangerous situation, as you may not be able to see cars in front of you or even if pedestrians are walking across the street.
If you are unable to see through your windshield, it may be best to pull off and wait for the rain to ease up, according to AAA. You could pull over into a rest area or get off the freeway and drive to a protected area. If the roadside is the only available option, you should pull off the road as far as you possibly can in order to not cause an accident.
Rain and other inclement weather conditions are an unavoidable part of life for motorists, but can still prove dangerous and cause accidents for even the most experienced driver. If you were recently involved in a car accident due to the negligence of another motorist, we can help. Read more to learn how what our car accident attorneys can do for you. If you are prepared to file a claim, please fill out our free, no-risk case evaluation form today.