How to drive in a thunderstorm/heavy rain

Driving in a thunderstorm and/or heavy rain is a petrifying experience. Knowing what to do in these situations might not take the situation any easier, but it will help enable you to act instead of panic as you navigate this high-stress situation. If at all possible, avoid driving in a thunderstorm and heavy rain. It is best to avoid this. If you absolutely cannot, here are a few tips to help you drive safely:

  1. Perform Car Safety Checks

Make sure your vehicle is in good working order. Check the brakes, oil levels, battery, lights, and tires and tire pressure. Driving in less-than-ideal weather conditions is difficult enough, you do not want your vehicle to be in less-than-ideal condition as well.  This should be done regularly regardless of hazardous conditions, but it becomes imperative when you must drive in a thunderstorm and heavy rain.

  1. Don’t Panic if You Hydroplane

If your car starts slipping uncontrollably on the rain-paved roads, try to stay calm. Slow down; do not slam on the brakes as this will cause your car to skid out of control. Steer yourself gently into the right direction. Once your vehicle straightens out, keep driving slowly to prevent hydroplaning again.

  1. Don’t Touch Metal Surfaces

If you are driving close to lightning, don’t touch any metal surfaces as they are electrically conductive, leading you to get shocked if you touch them. It is best to pull over and turn off your car. Avoid touching anything until the storm passes. Stay on the safe side and if you are not sure you should touch something, it’s best not to.

  1. Be Cautious When Driving Across Water

Water can hide dips, making you misjudge the depth of the water. Drive extremely slowly through water. Make sure your headlights are turned on when driving in low visibility conditions. Be sure to leave extra space between you and the car in front of you as it takes longer to stop in wet roads. Avoid driving through moving water.

  1. Keep a Car Emergency Kit

Keep a first aid kit in your car. Ensure that it is maintained and replenished. In addition, keep flashlights and fresh batteries. If driving through a storm, be prepared for anything and include water, blankets, and toiletries. It is better to be too prepared than to later wish you had packed something you needed but didn’t.

Be aware of the possible driving conditions according to where you live or where you are driving. Not everything mentioned on this list may apply to you. Check the weather report beforehand and turn your radio station to the weather channels to keep informed. Keeping informed will work in your favor when driving in thunderstorms and heavy rain.

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