It may come as a surprise, but rainy days make driving conditions more hazardous, sometimes worse than snow. In fact, according to the NHTSA, or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, when water starts to hit the pavement, the chance of a crash is increased more than during the winter. Over a 10-year study, NHTSA found that nearly half of weather-related crashes happened during rain and only 17 percent with sleet or snow. This is thought to be because drivers underestimate rainy conditions. The following will give you an idea of how to drive your Buick safely in the rain.
Keep Your Buick Ready
One of the most important factors to consider when driving your Buick in the rain is your tire tread. Make sure your tire thread is over 1/8th of an inch. This can be checked by inserting a quarter upside down in your tread; if part of Washington’s head is covered, you have enough. If it’s exposed anywhere, it’s time for new tires. It’s a good idea to replace your tires before they get that worn, however. Check your Buick’s tire pressure regularly, and make sure that the wipers are still in good repair. It’s also a good idea to regularly check your taillights, signals, headlights, and brake lights to ensure they are in good order. If you have any questions on your Buick Safety or upkeep, visit McKenzie Motors’ Service Center to have a mechanic give you peace of mind.
Another problem with driving in the rain is people don’t slow down. Driving too fast on wet pavement can cause you to lose traction and wreck. Wet roads have less traction. In fact, you could lose about a third of your traction. Therefore, you should reduce your speed by about a third. Make sure to also turn your headlights on if it’s a rainy day so other drivers can see you easily for braking.
It’s important to increase the space between you and the next car during poor weather conditions, especially rain. In good conditions, it should take about 3 seconds for you to pass the spot the car in front of you just did; during rainy conditions, make it 5-6 seconds.
Use Your Technology Well
Buicks have many advances that can help you out, and it’s important to utilize these, such as antilock brakes and traction control. Electronic Stability Control (ESC), lane-keeping assist, and anti-skid control are also helpful in rainy conditions. Some systems shouldn’t be used during the rain, such as cruise control, adaptive cruise control, and others.
If You Hydroplane
Hydroplaning is when the tires ride on the top layer of water instead of the pavement. You don’t have to be driving fast for this to happen, and it will feel like steering has gotten lighter. In this case, ease up on the gas, which should get you back on track. If not, gently use your brakes, but don’t attempt to turn the car until you’ve regained control.