DMV Questions and Answers about Driving in Rain
The following is a list of tips when driving in rain. These safety suggestions are also the most common questions and answers about driving in rain on your written knowledge exam.
- Many road pavements are the most slippery when it first starts to rain or snow because oil and dust have not yet washed away. On hot days, heat causes oil in the asphalt to come to the surface. That is why you should slow down at the first sign of rain.
- Keep a proper speed. Never overdrive your headlights and understand the risk of hydroplaning. Your tires can lose all contact with the road at speeds around 50 – 55 mph.
- Hydroplaning occurs in heavy rain and fast speeds. It means that your tires start riding on top of a thin layer of water. This can lead to uncontrolled skidding or drifting out of your lane.
- If you find yourself hydroplaning or skidding, ease your foot off the gas until the vehicle slows and you can feel traction on the road again. Do NOT brake or turn suddenly. If you need to brake, do it gently.
- When you need to stop or slow, take your foot off the accelerator to slow whenever possible or maintain mild pressure on the brake pedal.
- Maintain proper following distance. In bad weather and on slippery roads, you need to increase your following distance to more than three seconds.
- On multi-lane highways, stay toward the middle lanes, since water tends to pool in outside lanes.
- Use your low beam headlights. High beams may reflect back and cause glare in heavy rain.
- Avoid the glare of oncoming lights, by looking down to your right. Glare of oncoming lights can cause temporary loss of visibility and increase driver fatigue on long trips.
- Watch out for places where floodwater collects, particularly low-lying roads adjacent to streams, and dips under rail or highway bridges.
- Never drive through deep, moving water. Your vehicle could be swept off the road.
- Avoid driving through deep water, always make sure you can see the road through any water.
- Do not use your cruise control on slippery road conditions. Cruise control can cause loss of tire traction on wet or icy roads.
Questions on how to recover from a skid are not common on DMV tests, since theory doesn’t always help in a real-life situation. But should you get one on your test, there are basically three things that tell you the same thing:
- Steer in the direction of or into the skid.
- Look down the road and steer in that direction.
- Steer in the direction you want to go.
If you are a new driver, ask a driving school if they can help you practice this. It is often a very good idea and worth the cost