Oregon drivers are not strangers to the danger of heavy rains! Our driving school in Gresham makes sure that all of our students are taught the necessary skills to get safely through these nasty driving conditions. Whether it’s your first time driving in heavy rains or you’ve been driving on Oregon’s wet roads for years, it’s a good idea to review the basics and keep them fresh in your mind. It can help you avoid an accident the next time you are out on the road.
Keep your car rain-ready.
The best defense against the rain is a good offense. That means keeping your car ready for the weather, including making sure your wiper blades are in good working condition and that the tread on your tires isn’t too worn. You should also make sure your vehicle is regularly serviced. You should also consider keeping a first-aid kit, a blanket, and some bottled water in your vehicle in case of an accident or if you need to pull out and wait out a storm.
Give vehicles ahead of your extra space.
It’s going to take a lot longer to brake when the roads are wet, so give yourself some additional space between your front bumper and the vehicle ahead of you. Extra space will also give you time to spot any trouble occurring ahead of you and either safely slow to a stop or maneuver around it. Leave about double or even triple the amount of space you’d normally leave.
Go slower than you normally would do.
When the roads are wet, it’s important that you slow down. Driving at their normal speed is one of the most common mistakes people make when driving in wet conditions. They might be overly confident in their vehicle or in their own driving abilities, but it’s not a good idea. It’s going to be harder to hydroplane on wet surfaces if you are going at slower speeds, so take your foot off of the gas when the roads start to get wet.
Don’t drive into deep water.
Avoid standing water as much as possible when you are driving in the rain. You never know how deep that water really is, and it might take you by surprise. Even depths of three inches can sweet your vehicle away and cause you to lose control. Be wary of vehicles driving through deep waters, too; the splash that they cause could swamp your vehicle and end up damaging the engine or electronics in your car.
Sometimes you have to wait out the storm.
If visibility gets worse or you simply aren’t comfortable continuing to drive, it’s okay to wait out the storm! Find a safe place to pull over and stop your car. Consider it some downtime and call a friend, read a book, or just sit and enjoy the rain. It’s better to wait out a storm than risk your safety or the safety of others on the road. There is a good chance that the storm will start to let up in a few minutes and you’ll be ready to hit the road again.
Looking for more safety tips on the road? Attending one of the classes at our driving school can help build your driving confidence and get you ready for the road in all weather conditions. Check out our schedule of adult and teen driving lessons and sign up through our website. If you have questions about our classes, get in touch with us by giving us a call or contacting us through the form on our website. We look forward to seeing you in one of our classes soon!