Don’t Let the Rain Ruin Your Drive: 9 Tips to Prevent Accidents

Don’t Let the Rain Ruin Your Drive:
9 Tips to Prevent Accidents


The roads and highways throughout the North Bay are known for bustling traffic, and, at times, the daredevil antics of drivers. However, one weather condition adds additional peril to our roadways: rain. According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, 46% of all accidents happen when it’s raining and 70% occur when the pavement is wet. 

At Cline Collision Center, your safety is our top priority, which is why we’re sharing some tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe this rainy season. 

Why Does Rain Increase the Risk of Car Accidents?

Rain causes the roads to become slicker, especially at the beginning of a storm, when the rainwater mixes with oil on the pavement. On its own, wet asphalt provides less traction for your tires, leading to skidding, a loss of control, or hydroplaning. Hydroplaning, which can be extremely hazardous, occurs when a layer of water builds up between a vehicle’s tires and the road. 

Visibility is lower in the rain, especially during torrential downpours, foggy conditions, and at night. If your vehicle’s defroster isn’t working well, the combination of changes in humidity and temperature can cause the windows to fog up and make your visibility worse. In addition, pooling water can hide potential road hazards, such as large potholes. 

While we’re going to go over some tips for driving in the rain safely, it’s important to remember that one of the best things you can do to prepare for wet weather driving is to make sure your vehicle is up to the task. Keep your tires and brakes well-maintained, replace your windshield wipers as needed, and check all your exterior lights from time to time to make sure they’re working properly. 

Tips for Avoiding an Accident in the Rain

When you find yourself behind the wheel on a rainy day, here are 9 tips to help reduce the chances of an accident:

  1. Slow Down: Since wet roads increase the time it takes to slow and stop your vehicle—and the risk of hydroplaning, it’s important to drive slower than you normally would in dry conditions. Aim for reducing your speed by about 1/3.  
  • Maintain a Safe Following Distance: The more distance you leave between your vehicle and the car in front of you, the more time you have to react. Doubling your following distance will safely allow for unexpected braking and avoiding hazards on the road. 
  • Exercise Caution When Braking: Avoid hard, sudden braking as much as possible to prevent skidding or losing control of your vehicle. Brake gently and early; not only will this help you reduce the risk of an accident, but it can also help signal to the driver behind you that traffic may be slowing down. 
  • Use Your Headlights: Even if it’s sunny and there’s only a light drizzle, turning on your headlights will make you more visible to other drivers. It’s also required by California law to turn on your headlights any time you need to use your windshield wipers. 
  • Keep Your Windows Clear: Rainy weather often causes the windows to fog up, which can significantly reduce your visibility. Use your defroster to clear the fog; if it’s not working as well or as quickly as you like, roll down your windows to help balance out the temperature difference. 
  • Avoid Standing Water: Potholes often become rainwater traps—and it can be difficult to judge the depth of standing water. To prevent damage to your suspension or electrical components (or potentially stalling your engine in the case of deep water), it’s best to avoid standing water as much as possible. 
  • Follow the Path of the Car in Front of You: If you’re behind another vehicle, try to drive in the path its tires leave on the road. These tracks have already been cleared of some of the water and will give your tires better traction. 
  • Stay Focused on Driving: From GPS to Infotainment Systems, modern vehicles are loaded with distractions. Plan your route ahead of time, keep focused on driving, and only use electronics when you’re safely parked. 
  • Waiting 15 Minutes Before Driving: The first 15 minutes of rainfall are usually the most perilous due to rain and oil mixing and making the road more slippery. If possible, try to wait for road conditions to improve a bit before heading out. 

Unfortunately, even the best safety tips don’t completely eliminate the possibility of car accidents—but if you do find yourself in a fender bender or worse, Cline Collision Center is here to help. We know how stressful accidents can be, which is why we take every step to make your repairs as seamless and hassle-free as possible. We provide high-quality OEM repairs and even coordinate with your insurance company on your behalf. Reach out to us today at (707) 591-9909 or request an appointment online.