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May 6, 2005 - Driving in the Rain

Summer time in Florida means rain, lots of rain. During the summer months in Florida you can count on heavy down pours almost daily. While this is good news for gardens, lawns, and the forestry department it makes for some dangerous driving. It can rain so hard in Florida that many drivers just park under a freeway overpass until it calms down.

Now is the time to make sure you and your car are prepared to drive in wet weather. Start by checking your wiper blades. Your wiper blades should be replaced once a year. Test out your wiper blades by washing your windshield. A new pair of blades is cheap compared with a traffic accident if you can't see. Next check your tires.

Check Your Tires

If your tires are getting low on tread they lose their ability to channel water. That can result in hydroplaning, which can result in you sliding out of control. Do a visual inspection and replace any balding tires immediately. New tires will not only make your car handle better in the rain but you should notice better handling in all conditions. Don't forget to check your spare tire and make sure it in good shape. There is nothing worse than getting a flat in the rain and not having a spare so you can get going.

Slow Down

The number one thing to remember when driving in the Rain is Slow Down! Wet roads mean it will be tougher for you to stop. Turn on your head lights and leave extra distance between you and other cars so you have the time to stop without slamming on the brakes. In heavy rain drive in the center lane instead of the right lane where lots of water collects. Keep back from big trucks, busses and other larger vehicles that may throw off lots of water. And don't forget your umbrella. You'll want to keep dry once you arrive.

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