7 Safety Tips For Driving In The Florida Rain

Oct 11, 2023

In this blog we are going to discuss a few safety tips for driving when things aren’t so sunny in the Sunshine State. If you’re a new driver or a new resident to Florida, it’s important to know that the weather here can change in the blink of an eye. You can be soaking up the sun and enjoying a clear blue sky one minute, and caught in a torrential downpour the next. If rain is on the horizon, the ability to adjust to a shift in weather is paramount to your safety if you intend to be on the road. Below you can begin to  familiarize yourself with safety tips that can boost your confidence on your journey through a storm and reduce risks that can prohibit you from reaching your destination safely. Let’s dive in!

  1. Ensure Your Car Is Safe To Drive

One of the first things you should do when you’re about to leave your location and it’s raining – and even when it’s not – is ensure that your car is safe to drive. This means giving it a once or even twice-over for possible hazards, such as checking your headlights and taillights to be sure they are functioning, your wind-shield wipers for any possible damage that might limit your ability to see, and especially your tires for proper tread. Tread gives your tires traction, which in turn allows water to escape your tires when roads are wet, giving you better wet traction and braking abilities.

By checking the various facets of your vehicle, you can reduce the risk of accidents or vehicle-related issues on the road.

  1. Adjust Your Speed

To get to your destination safely in the rain, it’s important that you adjust your speed accordingly to the outdoor conditions. If there is a significant amount of rainfall, you’ll likely need to slow your speed so that you can account for any changes in your reaction time, braking abilities and other key factors. Reduced visibility, increased stopping distances, and the risk of hydroplaning are all factors that can be influenced by your driving speed in the rain. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says you should reduce your speed by 1/3 on wet roads. So if you’re driving 60 mph on the pavement when it’s dry, you’d drive 40 mph on it when it’s wet. This decrease in speed could be what makes the difference between your safety and an accident or worse.

If your visibility on the road becomes so poor that you cannot see, you should pull over as soon as you can do so safely. Sometimes a storm can blow by quickly, so waiting it out is another option for staying safe during heavy rain.

  1. Be Cautious At Intersections

Another safety tip you should consider, even when it’s not raining, is to be extra cautious at intersections. Just because you are a careful driver, doesn’t mean that everyone else is. You may be abiding traffic lights and signs, but a reckless or negligent driver who isn’t giving the same careful attention on the roads could still cause you to wreck. Not to mention the roads are slippery for all, so even if you or another driver do your best to brake as safely as possible, if you didn’t slow your speed correctly, or there is another hazard in the road, you might still find yourself in an accident. A good practice to follow would be to never assume you have the right away or the green light at an intersection. Stay alert and keep your eyes peeled for anything that might pose a risk to your safety.

You should also consider increasing your following distance behind other cars so that you can react appropriately if they need to brake suddenly, causing you to do the same.

  1. Limit Possible Distractions

Approximately 3,000 people die in distracted driving auto accidents each year. There are so many things that can become a dangerous distraction when you are behind the wheel. Even on a cloudless day, it only takes a split second for one of the below factors to lead to an accident, and rain only amplifies that possibility. A few of the most common vehicle-related distractions include:

  • Talking or texting on your cell phone
  • Eating
  • Drinking
  • Tending to a child in the backseat
  • Changing the radio
  • And more!

It’s important to eliminate the possibility of being distracted by one or more of these things, and focus solely on the road and getting to your next stop safely.

  1. Turn On Your Lights

You should always have your lights on when you’re driving in the rain. In fact, Florida Statute 316.217(1)(b) legally requires drivers to have their headlights on when there is rain, fog, or smoke present. Not only does this allow you to see better in the rain, but it allows other drivers to see you. 

However, remember that your hazard lights should only be on when you are stopped. If they’re on while you’re driving, this can cause confusion for other drivers and ultimately become a distraction to them.

  1. Stay Informed

Another method for safety on wet roads is staying informed about the conditions for your area. If you have plans to leave your house, it may be worth checking your local news channel for any significant shifts in weather. If a nasty storm is brewing, and you’re able to reschedule your plans, that of course is the safest choice. If that’s not feasible or you’ll be traveling to work, school, or other necessary locations, planning to leave earlier so you can adjust the above discussed factors like speed, following distance, and more is your next best option. The Weather Channel posts continual updates each day. All you have to do is search for your city.

  1. Be Patient – This Isn’t The Time To Be In A Hurry

The last tip for staying safe while driving in the rain is to be patient, with yourself and other drivers. If you know you’ll be in a hurry to get somewhere, you need to allow yourself extra time to do so (staying informed). Attempting to make up for lost time by speeding on the road is not only careless, but illegal as it puts yourself and other drivers in danger.

How Injury Law Pros Can Help

If you’ve been injured in an auto accident, trucking accident, rideshare accident, or something else while treading through the Florida rain, our personal injury lawyers will fight diligently to secure you the compensation you deserve, while protecting your right throughout the process. We believe if it isn’t your fault, you shouldn’t have to suffer the financial consequences. Call today to schedule a free consultation so that we can evaluate your claim, explain your legal options, and answer any pressing questions you may have. There is a statute of limitations in Florida for filing a personal injury claim, so it’s imperative that you act fast.