Dangers of Winter Driving, and How To Stay Safe

According to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, 22% of automobile accidents are weather-related. Though Albuquerque roads remain free of the most dangerous winter hazards, such as snow and black ice, we do get some rain every once in a while. As a licensed driver in the state of New Mexico, it is your responsibility to familiarize yourself with the dangers of driving in the rain and what you can do to avoid accidents.

The Dangers of Driving in the Rain

Rain factors into nearly half of all weather-related accidents in the United States. But why is rain so dangerous? There are several reasons, actually.

On the one hand, rain reduces a driver’s visibility. It also impairs a driver’s roadside awareness and his or her ability to control the vehicle. Unfortunately, many Albuquerque residents fail to adjust their driving habits for rainy conditions. They drive too closely to other vehicles. They do not leave enough room between their vehicles and those ahead of them. They speed. When motorists do not adjust their driving habits to accommodate the weather conditions, accidents happen.

Then there’s the environmental hazards rain creates. When an arid environment such as New Mexico receives rain, all the oils that have been sitting right beneath the road’s surface get pushed to the top. This makes for slick driving conditions. Rain can also hide road hazards, such as road debris and potholes.

How To Drive Safe in the Rain

When it rains in Albuquerque, it’s important that you and other citizens drive smart. Some steps you can take to prevent crashes include the following:

  • Turn on Your Headlights: Most state laws require drivers to use their headlights in the rain, as rain can drastically reduce visibility.
  • Drive Slow: Reduced visibility, decreased traction and speeding are a recipe for disaster. While you cannot control the outside conditions, you can control your speed. Significantly reduce your driving speed and drive only as fast as you feel comfortable.
  • Know How To Handle Hydroplaning: Hydroplaning occurs when water gets between your tires and the road’s surface. To maintain control when you hydroplane, ease off the accelerator, and never hit the brakes.
  • Keep Your Distance: The slick roads make it difficult to brake quickly. Keep extra distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you, and never tailgate in the rain.

If you do happen to get into a rain-related accident, you may need to have your windshield repaired or replaced. If that’s the case, turn to Astro Auto Glass for exceptional auto glass services. Contact us to request a quote.