We can't control the weather. Rain can hinder both drivers and pedestrian’s ability to see, your ability to brake quickly, and your ability to handle your vehicle like normal. Here are a few helpful tips for both drivers and pedestrians on how to drive and walk safely in the rain.
Tips for drivers:
- If it hasn't rained in a while, and then a rain shower comes, the roads can become very slick. The oils from the pavement will rise to the surface and can cause your tires to slip if you are not careful. If it continues to rain, the oils will eventually go away.
- Allow more time to drive to your destination.
- Brake earlier and softer to avoid hydroplaning.
- Be aware of puddles. Puddles tend to accumulate on the sides of the road, so if you must drive through one, slow down and proceed with caution.
- Do not use cruise control. It lowers your reaction time and increases your chance of hydroplaning.
- Turn on your headlights. It makes it easier for oncoming traffic to see you.
- Defog your windows. Make sure you put on both your rear and front defrosters. Also, turn your A/C on to help reduce the fog on your windows.
Tips for pedestrians:
- Look to your right and left before crossing the street. Avoid beating the traffic lights. Some drivers are probably hurrying to get to their destination just like you.
- Be seen. Wear bright colored shirts or headgear so drivers can see you from afar. Keep cars in your view and walk facing the road traffic. It is easier to respond when you are aware of your surroundings.
- Beware of blind spots. Here are a few danger zones and situations that you should be aware of as a pedestrian: getting out of a car without checking possible vehicles passing on the side, crossing the street from the front of a huge vehicle (a bus for instance) without checking for approaching cars and walking recklessly on the road. You cannot expect drivers to see you all the time, but you should be able to see them, for your own safety.
Rain can make it harder for both drivers and pedestrians to see each other. Never assume a pedestrian sees you coming or that a car sees you crossing the street. Odds are, they may not, and that can lead to an accident. We may not know when a rain shower is coming, but hopefully with these tips, we can be more prepared for one.