Tips for Driving in the Rain

BMW e36 M3

The season of rain, and sometimes snow, is upon us here in the Pacific Northwest, and with it comes an increase in vehicle crashes. While we cannot control the behavior of others, we can control our own, and utilizing safe driving practices is one.

Stopping distances increase on slippery surfaces, so leave more room than you might normally between your car and the one in front of you. Yes, people might (will) cut in front of you into that extra space, it happens to me all of the time. Don’t let those less-than-safe behaviors get to you, and drop back a few more feet after it happens.

I’ve spent a bit of time in auto wrecking yards searching for no longer available parts for old BMWs, and with few exceptions, every BMW and MINI I’ve seen had front-end damage. In other words, their career on the road was ended because their driver drove it into something else, often another car. By allowing greater distance between your car and the one in front of you in traffic you will decrease the chances of your car’s demise. It’s a basic tenet of driver’s education because it’s true, and you’ll get to your destination in the same amount of time.

Another thing to do when driving in inclement weather is to turn your lights on. I know, you’re not going to necessarily see any better, but that’s not the reason, its to BE seen. Being seen reduces, all things being equal, the likelihood of being hit; be seen.

Modern cars have daytime running lights to make being seen easier. I always have mine switched on so, like automatic bill pay, I don’t have to think about it.

These are two of the most basic things over which every driver has control, leaving more room between you and the car in front of you and turning on your lights. They are easy and cost-free, please consider them, if only for your car’s sake.

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