Just as winter is saying its last goodbye, spring rushes in to drench us with much-needed rain. Is your car prepared for all of that wetness? While April showers may bring May flowers, it can also bring flooding, create opportunities for hydroplaning on the roadways, cause slippery pavement, and more. Heavy, consistent rain can initiate tears and wear on windshield wipers and drain already poorly-charged batteries. Rain can cause poor visibility and is often accompanied by fog, making it easier and more likely for accidents to happen.
Before grabbing your raingear and heading outside for a drive, be sure to acquire cheap car insurance that most accurately aligns with your family’s lifestyle. In addition to physically preparing your car for the rainy season, it’s equally important to arm yourself with coverage that brings you peace of mind just in case April showers do in fact bring about more than beautiful May flowers.
Perform a Brake Check – Attempting to brake in wet weather can take significantly longer than when it is dry. Now is the time to have your mechanic thoroughly check the brake components, as well as perform any routine brake services as is recommended by the manufacturer’s specifications. Take note of any strange noises coming from the brakes and how they feel when you are slowing down. If there are grinding noises and/or too much give to the brake pedal, you’ll want to have the vehicle checked out.
Determine the Quality of the Tires – During the rainy season, tires have a big job. They must misplace the water on the road so the driver can maintain a steady course. If the tread on the tires is worn or the tires are underinflated, they won’t be able to safely gain traction on the pavement. Be sure to maintain continual tire pressure checks, and get the tires regularly rotated so there isn’t uneven wear among them.
Practice Headlight Care – The world is a dirty place, and your car’s headlights are bound to pick up on dust, dirt and debris even while parked in your driveway. When it’s raining, the beaming light from your car is sometimes the only thing that other drivers can see, so it’s vitally important to keep the headlights clean. Clean the headlights every week or more often as conditions call for it. And remember, when the windshield wipers are in use, in some states it’s the law to also have your headlights on.
Examine the Windshield Wipers – It’s a bad idea to get caught in a downpour with windshield wipers that aren’t functioning properly. They might be streaking, lagging, frayed or damaged in some other way. Anything that impairs visibility during bad weather poses a danger to you, your passengers, and other people on the road. Make a note to examine the wipers beforehand so you’re fully prepared.
Wait for Weather to Improve – If it is at all possible to wait until the rain lets up, than do so. If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of driving in stormy weather, postpone your trip for a couple of hours or a day so you can feel more confident on the road.
Slow Down – Remember that posted speed limits are maximum speed limits. It is important to remember that those limits should be lowered in various conditions, one of which is rain. Wet roads make for slippery and dangerous conditions, so slow down in wet weather, to keep everyone safe while traveling.
Remember to Use Your Windshield Wipers – Most cars today allow for adjustable wiper speed. Even if the rain is light, keep the windshield and back window clear so that you have full visibility of the roadway in front and behind you. Consider using products on the windshield like a rain repellent so that beads of water gather and move upward out of the driver’s view.
Keep an Eye Out for Standing Water – A puddle of water might look innocent enough, but for a car, it can cause hydroplaning. This is when the driver loses traction and skids across the road surface. Never drive into an area of a road that is submerged by water because it’s impossible to tell how deep it is, and avoid standing water by driving around it safely when possible.
Work the Defroster – When it rains, humidity levels are high. The humid air can create a fog inside your vehicle that blurs over the windows making it difficult for the driver to see. Use the cars’ ventilation system and the defroster to keep the humidity levels in check.
Prepare for the season of storms properly by performing regular vehicle maintenance checks and reviewing the rules for a rainy road. When you feel more confident in yourself and your vehicle, you’re more likely to arrive at your destination happy and unscathed.
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