Long, hard rains can also result in puddles which can cause you to hydroplane. Your car skims over the water and becomes very hard to control. Roads that are poorly drained can have rather large puddles that don't seem as deep as they are until you drive into them. This can lead to loss of control of your car.
If you do end up in a skid when you drive after rain, the most important thing to do is stay calm. Steer gently into the skid and stop accelerating, allowing the car to find the road again. You may also want to flash your lights or turn your hazards on, to alert other cars in the road to the fact that you are having a problem.
Even if you’re an experienced driver, it’s a good idea to keep the following practices in mind when dealing with rainy roads:
- Car Maintenance. Keep up on your car's maintenance. Your battery, tires and windshield wipers need to be in good condition, and check anti-freeze levels regularly.
- Practice driving in rainy weather. As always, practice makes perfect. You can always find an empty parking lot to test how your car handles in rainy weather.
- Drive slowly. Driving slowly makes it easier to prevent hydroplaning and losing control of your vehicle.
- Know your brakes. Handling your vehicle correctly is key to surviving spinouts. If you have an anti-lock braking system (ABS), as most newer cars do, apply strong and continuous pressure. If your vehicle isn’t equipped with anti-lock brakes, pump on the brakes intermittently--do not slam on your brakes, as this could cause your car to skid.
- Keep your distance. Be sure to give your car plenty of distance between it and the car ahead in case your car skids on the surface of the road.
- Be mindful of puddles. Drive slowly when driving through puddles to prevent hydroplaning. However, avoid puddles whenever possible.
- Hazards. If you are driving under the speed limit in a storm resulting in poor visibility, be sure to turn your hazards on for the other drivers on the road.