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How to drive safely in the rain

North Carolina is no stranger to intense rainfalls. Charlotte, North Carolina typically sees about 44 inches of rain every year, which is five inches more than the national average. 

The rainy season means the likelihood of traffic collisions increases. Many drivers do not know how to drive in new conditions, so you want to be more mindful than usual of other drivers on the road. You also need to be aware of your actions to avoid a car accident. 

Slow down

The speed limit on a North Carolina freeway might be 65 miles per hour. However, when it rains, you do not want to go past 55 mph. Regardless of what the speed limit is, you should only drive as fast as you are comfortable. If other drivers want to go past you, then you can move to the far right lane. Give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination, so you do not feel compelled to speed. 

Watch for hydroplaning

Hydroplaning happens when the tires on your vehicle get more traction from the water on the road than the actual road. This can cause your vehicle to slide out of control. A car can begin hydroplaning when only 1/12th of an inch of rain is on the road. If you feel your car beginning to slide, then remove your foot from the accelerator and try to straighten your car until you regain control. 

Give yourself plenty of space between vehicles

You should never tailgate under optimal driving conditions, but you especially want to avoid doing so during the rain. When you drive over a wet roadway, it will take your car another couple of seconds to come to a complete stop than normal. Make sure you have the length of about three vehicles between you and the next car. You also need to be mindful of driving around large trucks. Large vehicles are more susceptible to heavy rainfall and winds, so try to stay away from them when possible. 

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