Summer in New Jersey brings not only warmth and sunshine but also the occasional intense rainstorm and possible flooding. These weather conditions can create dangerous driving conditions and increase the risk of car accidents. New Jersey State Police report an increase in car accidents each year from June through September, and many of the accidents are because of summer rain storms.
Understanding how to safely navigate these conditions is important to maintaining your safety and that of others on the road.
Maintain your vehicle
Ensuring your vehicle is in good condition is the first step to safe driving in bad weather. Regular maintenance, including checking tire tread and pressure, ensuring your brakes function properly and keeping your windshield wipers in good condition, can make a significant difference in your vehicle’s performance during a rainstorm.
Increase your following distance
During heavy rain or flooding, increase the distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. Wet and slippery conditions can lengthen the time and distance it takes to stop your car.
Driving slower than usual can help prevent hydroplaning, a dangerous situation where your vehicle loses traction and slides uncontrollably on the wet surface. Reducing your speed allows your tires to maintain contact with the road.
Use your headlights correctly
Always use your headlights in rainy conditions, even during the day. It not only helps you see the road better, but it also makes your vehicle more visible to other drivers.
Avoid flooded roads
Flooding can occur rapidly during heavy rainstorms. Never attempt to drive through a flooded roadway, as it can be difficult to gauge the depth of the water. Even a few inches of water can cause loss of control or potentially stall your vehicle.
Stay calm and focused
Keep your focus on the road and your surroundings. Avoid distractions, such as cell phones or other electronic devices. Staying calm and focused allows you to react quickly to any potential hazards.
Protecting yourself and others from car accidents during summer rainstorms and flooding in New Jersey involves preparation, smart driving techniques and an increased awareness of your surroundings. It is always better to err on the side of caution when dealing with inclement weather conditions. Safety should always be your primary concern while on the road.