This week, Chicago broke its record for the wettest May. Multiple Chicago roadways have flooded and closed roads in some areas. Although we are headed into a dry spell, the extended forecast shows more rain this weekend. Our experienced accident attorneys want to take this opportunity to remind everyone of wet weather driving basics, with the hopes of preventing the type of traffic incidents that lead to injuries and death.
According to AAA, wet weather causes 1.2 million traffic accidents annually. Please consider the wet weather driving tips below.
Preventive measures before it starts raining:
- Make sure your windshield wipers work effectively. They become frayed and worn over time. You should replace them once or twice a year, or more frequently if necessary.
- Make sure your headlights and turn signals are working.
- Replace your tires if the tread is worn (your local tire shop can quickly check the tread, or you can use a quarter turned upside down, inserted into the tire groove. If you see above Washington’s head, it’s time to get new tires).
- Check your tire pressure and adjust accordingly.
When driving in rainy, wet weather:
- Slow down. The posted speed limit may be too fast if the road is wet and if your view is obscured by rain on the windshield. Reducing your speed prevents hydroplaning, skidding and loss of control.
- Skip the cruise control. In wet conditions, cruise control increases your risk of losing control of the vehicle.
- Increase following distance. The weather may cause the driver in front of you to skid or hit the brakes suddenly, which in turn can cause you to skid if you have to hit the brakes on the wet pavement. Create more space so you have additional time to react.
Avoid panicking if your vehicle begins to skid. Look and steer in the direction you want the vehicle to go with a firm, steady grip. Don’t slam the brakes because it will likely make the loss of control even worse.