North Carolina saw some significant rainfall in the last days of April, and that led to a significant number of accidents and traffic snarls. The overnight rain had left some areas of the road exceptionally slick.

Once winter is over, a lot of drivers relax because the road conditions seem to improve. They often forget that rain can be just as hazardous as snow under the right conditions. Here are some reminders about how to drive safely in the rain that could prevent you from being in a serious accident:

  1. Always keep your car in good condition. Your wiper blades need to be working, your lights should all be operational and the tread on your tires should be healthy. Don’t put yourself in danger by going out on the street in a poorly maintained vehicle.
  2. Turn on your lights and slow down. Visibility is key to helping other drivers see you, despite the downpour, so your lights are important. Slowing down helps you avoid hitting another driver and gives you more time to react to things in your path.
  3. Watch out for hydroplaning. It only takes a thin sheet of water to cause your wheels to lose traction. If it happens to you, take your foot off the gas and keep steering. Slamming on your brakes or jerking the wheel can be dangerous.
  4. “If in doubt, wait it out.” If you aren’t comfortable driving in the rain or on soaked streets, stay where you are until the weather clears.

Despite your best efforts, you may still end up in a wreck due to another driver’s negligence. If that happens, focus on getting treatment first. You can worry about how to hold the other driver accountable later.