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Driving Safely in Extreme Rain 
 
by L M Kensington September 27, 2005

Dry your brakes

As your wheels go through wet roads, splashing water can wet your brakes, where a thin film of water can accumulate and cut down brake performance. Learn to dry your brakes while driving. Look at your rear view mirror and if the car behind you is at a safe distance, step very lightly on the brake pedal. The heat from the friction can remove any watery film accumulating inside your brakes. Do this every quarter of an hour or so, making sure that there is no car going at high speeds behind you. Avoid doing this every minute, as this can exasperate the drivers following you. Once every fifteen minutes should be just right.

Use your wipers

Your wipers are there to keep your windshield clean and help your vision. Use it even if it is just drizzling. Many drivers don’t switch their wipers on because it distracts them. Don’t commit this mistake. Keep your windshield clean and check your wipers before you drive out in the rain. Old wipers become hard and leave marks that affect front visibility. Make sure your windshield washer system is working. Faulty washers cannot keep your windshield clean of mud and grime splashed by cars ahead and beside you.

Switch on your headlights

Switch on your headlights in driving rain to make your car more visible to oncoming traffic, decreasing the chances of getting into a head-on collision. Your headlights will not improve your vision during heavy rains, but your taillights will help drivers behind you to keep their distance. Avoid switching your lights to high beam, since rain diffuses the light and increases the glare in front of you, further limiting what you see. Fog lights can help only when they are aimed properly down on the road. Otherwise, they cause glare when it is raining and affect your vision. Check your lights and have it adjusted regularly.

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