"It’s just water, what’s the big deal?" If you’ve ever verbalized your anxiety about driving on New Jersey roads in the rain, you may have received such a reply. Next time that happens, here’s a smart way to answer: "The big deal is almost half of all weather-related crashes happen when it’s raining. That’s more than twice the number of crashes that happen when it’s snowing or sleeting!" Those statistics come straight from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Why Is Driving In Rain So Treacherous?
Most people have been conditioned to fear the hidden black ice that can lurk beneath snowfall. They’re more apt to stay home when it’s snowing or sleeting because it has been drilled into their minds that ice is dangerous. When a winter storm is brewing, businesses and schools may close and most people settle indoors to ride out the storm.
Rain isn’t nearly as big of a deal. Rainfall is common and happens year-round. In most cases, it comes and goes without incident. When you drive in rain, you encounter more cars on the roads. Those motorists are more irritated than afraid of the rain. They’re likely to be frustrated about delays and drive erratically as a result. Aggressive driving and lack of understanding the dangers of wet roads are major reasons why driving in the New Jersey rain is more dangerous.
Three Important Tips for Driving in Wet Conditions
Driving on a rainy, snowy or foggy day unquestionably is riskier than driving on a sunny, dry day. Unfortunately for most people, it’s just not feasible to entirely avoid driving in wet conditions. If you absolutely must take the wheel when the pavement is wet, heed these tips to reduce your risks of getting into an accident.
- Make sure your car is ready when Mother Nature makes it rain. The time to prepare your car for wet roadways is before they happen. On a dry day, take your vehicle in to a professional repair shop to have the tires, braking system, windshield wipers, headlights, brake lights, tail lights and turn signals checked out. You’ll rely heavily on these components when driving in the rain.
- Adjust your speed. The posted speed limit may be 60, but when visibility is obscured and roads are slick, experts recommend driving about 1/3 of the speed limit.
- Widen the gap. When you took driver’s education, you probably learned it’s smart to keep a certain number of car lengths between you and the car you are following. When driving in the rain during daylight, aim to leave a gap of about five seconds between your car and the one in front. Driving in the rain at night, aim for a six-second gap.
You Probably Winterize Your Car, Now Prepare for the Rainy Spring Season
Do you know the best tires for wet weather? Do you know when brake pads are worn or when wiper blades need to be replaced? You may not be certain of these things, but we are. For spring car maintenance in Hopewell New Jersey, contact us at Union Line Garage. We’re Jersey natives, and we are familiar with the challenges of navigating New Jersey traffic in the rain. We’ll take care of your prized vehicle so it takes care of you.