State Farm gives tips for driving safely in the rain

Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 8:37 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - We seem to be in a wet weather pattern with plenty of rain and flooding in some areas.

Experts recommend staying off the roads during stormy weather, but a local insurance agent said driving in the rain doesn’t have to be scary or stressful.

The U.S. Department of Transportation said there are more than 1.2 million weather-related car accidents each year and 46% of those happen when it’s raining.

That’s why a local State Farm agent is running down the list of things you may want to keep in mind when driving in a downpour.

Hitting the road in the rain? Experts said check your windshield wipers. Streaking means it’s time to change the blades.

You can also increase visibility by turning on your headlights.

“You also want to make sure your tires are in good shape. You want to make sure you have adequate tread depth on your tires,” said State Farm Insurance Agent, Michael O’Neal.

And there’s a simple test you can do once a month.

Take a quarter and place it into your tire’s tread groove with George Washington’s head facing downward.

If you can see the top of his head, it’s time to replace your tires.

“It’s always a good idea when you’re having your tires rotated and balanced to have the company there check your tread depth so that you have adequate depth there when you’re driving in rainy conditions. Tires that are getting down near the replacement time or past that point are much more slick and prone for hydroplaning and things like that,” O’Neal explained.

He said if you start to hydroplane, take your foot off the gas and slowly steer in the direction of the skid.

“Pump the brakes very gently to try to slow down and regain contact with the pavement.”

Finally, O’Neal recommends staying alert, driving defensively, paying close attention to your surroundings.

“When it rains, there’s generally a film that occurs on the street of the gas the oil and things that have been accumulating there. And so, the roads are a lot more slick and slippery it could cause you, if you apply the brakes too quickly, to slide into the back of someone else,” O’Neal said.

Experts also recommend avoiding the splash saying if you see water on the streets, turn around, don’t drown.

And if you must drive at night, make sure both the inside and outside of your windshield is clean and dim your dashboard lights to help with the glare.

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