It’s been raining for about 12 hours straight now. Some times heavier than others. And we all know what this means: everyone somehow turns into the worst driver in the world. So I’ve taken it upon myself to put out some helpful tips for driving in the rain to make it easier on all of us. Maybe there’ll be less accidents on the road. Ha. Good joke, right?
1) Don’t be an ass hole.
This is a good rule for driving in general, but especially in the rain. Don’t cut people off. Don’t zip around from lane to lane thinking it’s okay to pass on the right or go around people who are going slow. It’s not. We’re all going somewhere. You’re not more important than everyone else, so just sit there and chill out.
2) Don’t drive with your brights on.
Once again, a good rule for general driving habits, but don’t drive with your brights on. When it’s 6:30 a.m. and dark and rainy out, everyone already has a hard enough time seeing. We don’t need you blinding them from behind, too. In all honesty, does it really help you see better? No. It doesn’t. It just pisses everyone else off and makes us more stressed out.
3) Don’t randomly slam on your brakes.
Everyone should be extra cautious when it’s raining. The normal ‘2 second’ rule for following behind other cars should be bumped up to 4 or 5 seconds in wet conditions, but when you slam on your brakes when you’re merging, or even when you’re already on the highway, it throws this rule out the window. Just be cautious. You wouldn’t have to slam on your brakes if you were being sensible in the first place.
4) 4-wheel drive doesn’t mean you can go 90 mph.
I drive a Subaru. All-wheel drive (which is different than 4-wheel drive) is great when the roads are slick or there’s a bit of ice on the road – not that I would know about that last one – but it doesn’t give you complete immunity to any and all road conditions. Wet roads are dangerous for everyone, but it makes it even more dangerous when your 4,000 lb, 4-wheel drive Ford F-350 is barreling down the highway. You also drive a truck. You have less weight on the back of your car than the majority of other vehicles. This makes you more prone to fishtailing, even if you have 4WD.
5) For the love of God, turn around.
The “Turn around, don’t drown” line gets thrown around a lot when it starts to flood, and for good reason: … You know what. I really shouldn’t have to explain this. JUST TURN AROUND. I’ve been checking out Twitter and seeing tons of videos from local news sources showing high water rescues. When you decide that your vehicle can go through one of these crossings, you’re not only putting your own life at risk, but the lives of the individuals that will come to rescue you as well. It doesn’t matter if you’re in a Ford Focus or a lifted Ford Bronco, your car can’t go through two, three, or four feet of water. Stop. Wait. And yes: “Turn around, don’t drown.”
I know this won’t make a bit of difference in the way people drive, and I don’t really care. If you can’t tell, I had a really fun time driving to work (all of the above were things that I witnessed on my way in at 6:30 in the morning). But for the three people that read this, take heed. Be cool. Relax. Pay attention.