Driving in the rain: Follow these four simple steps to avoid weather-related crashes

Posted at 10:37 AM, Oct 23, 2017

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, nearly 1,259,000 crashes, or 22% of total crashes, each year are weather-related. The vast majority of weather-related crashes happen on wet pavement during rainfall: 73% on wet roads versus 46% during rainfall. Often, the crashes are a result of drivers not following four simple steps.

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Wipers on, lights on 

Florida statue 316.217 states: Every vehicle operated upon a highway within this state shall display lighted lamps and illuminating devices as herein respectively required for different classes of vehicles, subject to exceptions with respect to parked vehicles, under the following conditions:

  • At any time from sunset to sunrise including the twilight hours. Twilight hours shall mean the time between sunset and full night or between full night and sunrise.
  • During any rain, smoke, or fog.
  • Stop lights, turn signals, and other signaling devices shall be lighted as prescribed for use of such devices.

Keep hazard lights off in the rain

Flashers are to be used in emergency situations and are for stopped vehicles only. By keeping them on in the rain, other drivers might think you're stopped or stalled. The only time drivers can legally drive with flashers on is during a funeral procession. 

Read more about this under Florida statue 316.2397.

Cruise control off in the rain

Turn off cruise control. Ironically, on slick surfaces, cruise control may cause you to lose control. You might think it'll help you stay at one steady speed, but if you hydroplane while you're in cruise control, your car will actually go faster. 

High beams off in fog

By keeping your high beams on during foggy conditions, you're actually reflecting the light from your headlights back to you which causes a glare.