When heavy rain hits, most drivers know to slow down, particularly if it happens to be foggy and visibility is low. But there is another situation that can be quite dangerous for drivers, one many people do not realize: a rain shower on a hot day.
It’s true. Here is why it happens.
Heat, oil and water: A slick combination
Safety officials often warn motorists about the opening 10-15 minutes of a rain shower, particularly on a hot day. There is a good reason for doing so.
When it starts to rain on a hot day, oil that is stuck in the asphalt rises to the surface. During the initial minutes of rain, the oil-dabbed roads can become quite slippery, making hydroplaning more likely – even at speeds as low as 35 mph.
Eventually, the rain washes away these oils, and the danger level subsides.
However, those early moments can be quite problematic, even more so if drivers do not know about the increased dangers during the rain’s opening minutes. If motorists do not take precautions and drive responsibly, they put every other person on the road at risk. When someone loses control and crashes, the wreck can kill or seriously injure anyone nearby.
Driving in the rain: Safety tips
Of course, there are things you can do during a storm to provide a safer driving environment for everyone. Experts suggest you:
- Drive slower than normal
- Put extra distance between your vehicle and other cars
- Keep your hands firmly on the wheel – don’t distract yourself
- Use your windshield wipers, turn on your headlights and remain alert
- Avoid standing water
Most of us have to drive regularly. Sometimes that means being behind the wheel during a rainstorm. When this happens, being aware of the risks and dangers, then taking proper precautions, can help ensure everyone gets where they are going in one piece.