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How to drive safely in the rain

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Driving in rain is not the same as driving on dry pavement.

In fact, wet pavement contributes to nearly 1.2 million traffic accidents every year, according to AAA. Take the following precautions and you’ll be less likely to be involved in one yourself.

Are your windshield wiper blades doing their job? If they’re worn, replace them to make sure you can see well, and so that others can see you in rainy conditions. The same goes for headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals, adds AAA. Turn on your lights when driving in the rain. It helps you see better and lets other drivers see you.

Are your tires bald or low? It’s essential that your tires have adequate tread and pressure in order to stop on a rain-slicked highway. Place a quarter with George Washington’s head upside down in the tread. If you see the top of his head, it’s time for new tires. Do not use cruise control on a wet road, which can result in loss of traction. You need to have as much control of your car as possible in the rain.

Don’t speed. In fact, drive slower than normal, advises driver education platform Driving-Tests.org. Driving too fast for wet conditions can result in hydroplaning — sliding across the wet pavement. Braking slowly when approaching intersections and turns can also help to prevent hydroplaning. For this same reason, it’s especially important not to drive too closely to the car in front of you. You never know when you’ll have to stop quickly. Stay several car lengths behind, says Driving-Tests.

Despite all your precautions, your car may go into a skid in the rain. AAA advises to keep steering in the direction you want to go. Do not brake hard. This only makes your car more difficult to control.

Douglas Automotive : 123 E. Virginia, Crystal Lake, IL 815.356.0440 : 417 W. Main Street, Barrington, IL : 847. 381.0454 : 416 Northwest Highway, Fox River Grove, IL : 847.639.4552 : www.douglasautomotive.com

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