Bad weather conditions play a role in close to 25 percent of all motor vehicle collisions in the United States today. While rainy conditions exist in every region, the state of Georgia is prone to heavy winds, thunderstorms, and intense rainfalls.
Avoiding driving in a thunderstorm is always the recommendation for Georgia drivers, however, there are certainly cases where operating a vehicle in adverse weather is unavoidable.
Georgia maintains a subtropical climate. While the rainfall levels vary across the state, the general rainy season is January through March. Nevertheless, examples of Georgia residents are caught driving in a thunderstorm occur throughout the entire year. Operating a vehicle during these conditions presents a number of dangers, especially for larger, heavier trucks and commercial vehicles.
Hazards of Driving in a Thunderstorm
Unfortunately, far too many Georgia motorists downplay the effects of rain on the roadways across the state. This causes these people to operate their vehicles how they would during normal driving conditions. As a result, the number of auto accidents due to bad weather continues to rise. It is absolutely imperative for all drivers to adjust their driving behaviors while driving in a thunderstorm.
Heavy rains make the roads slippery, limits visibility for all motorists, and often surface quickly, leaving minimal time to react. Some of the most common dangers linked to driving in the rain include:
- Driver perceptions is altered due to rain, unable to make clear judgment
- Aquaplaning: a reduction in the traction of tires due to wet roads that causes a vehicle to glide along the film of water on the roadways
- Stopping and started quickly is very difficult in rainy weather
- Road congestion mixed with rain increases the likelihood of a traffic collision
Rainy Season Driving Tips
Even the most experienced drivers are placed at risk when navigating the roads and highways of Georgia in heavy rains or a thunderstorm. From limited visibility to reduced tire traction, the number of dangerous elements makes driving in these conditions very risky. However, there are times when driving during this bad weather is unavoidable. As such, it is important to prepare for driving during rainy season.
The following are some of the most important tips for driving during rainy season:
- Use the brake much slower than in normal weather, expect longer brake times
- Always keep headlights on in the rain
- Allow for extra travel time
- Remain in the middle lane as much as possible
- Avoid large puddles
- Never use cruise control, makes vehicles hydroplane
- Defog windows
- Lightly tap on the brakes when driving through a puddle in unavoidable
- If vehicle is hydroplaning, ease up on the gas and steer straight, do not hit the brake or turn the wheel
- Use the car in front of you as a guide and follow their path
Keeping these tips in mind will help to reduce the number of collisions occurring each year due to adverse weather conditions. As a general rule, motorists are always encouraged to safely pull over to the side of the road to wait for the rain to stop. Many drivers prefer this method, as they are able to safely stay inside of their vehicle until the rain clears.