Ohio residents are used to driving in various weather conditions, including rain and snow. When drivers fail to take extra care on wet, slick roads, it increases the risk of car accidents. However, what might surprise you is that it’s more dangerous to drive in rain than in snow.
Why driving in rain is more dangerous
While rain and snow both make driving more dangerous, rain makes it more likely for motor vehicle accidents to occur. This is because drivers often underestimate the risks in rain and fail to take the right precautions to stay safe. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), accidents in the rain led to more fatalities than those in snowy weather. It noted that during the winter months, southern and southwestern states experienced more fatal crashes in the rain than northeastern states experienced in snow.
NHTSA data shows that drivers are more likely to be cautious while driving in the snow due to slick, icy conditions and reduced visibility on roads. However, it also shows that while rain causes slippery roads as well, drivers are more likely to take risks, such as speeding.
How to safely drive in the rain
If you have to drive in the rain or snow, you should ensure that your vehicle is in good condition and equipped to handle potentially heavy downpours. Check your vehicle, or take it to the mechanic to make sure all controls are working properly. If anything is worn, such as your tires or windshield wipers, have them replaced.
Always check the weather report ahead of time, and leave early if necessary. If you’re running late to a destination in the rain, avoid speeding. You should travel at least 10 miles per hour under the speed limit to avoid an accident regardless of whether you’re running late. Check for an alternate route.
Leave enough space between you and the car ahead. Traveling at a safe enough distance behind can help you slow down and stop safely, preventing accidents. Never use cruise control in rainy weather.
Although driving in the rain is risky, you can reduce your risk by using common sense. It could save lives, including your own.