Make sure your vehicle is ready for rain
Driving safely in the rain starts on a dry day. Take time to check your car’s tire tread, tire pressure, windshield wipers, headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals. These features are critical for keeping your car safe on the road when it’s raining. Specifically, here’s what you should check
Take a penny and insert it upside down into the tire tread. If Lincoln’s head is covered, your tires are probably fine. But if the top of his head is exposed, you may have worn down your tread. Tires that have low tread are unsafe on the road.1
Check the pressure of your tires at least once a month. It’s fairly simple to use a tire gauge to do so. Most car tires should have 32 to 35 psi when they’re cold (meaning, the car hasn’t run in a little while).2 If you’re not sure how much air your tires need, most new cars have a sticker inside the driver’s side door (or check the owner’s manual).
Over time, windshield wipers wear down. That’s why most windshield wiper brands recommend replacing this part every six to 12 months, or more frequently if you notice streaks or the wipers aren’t working.3 To stay safe while driving in the rain, it’s critical that you have good windshield wipers. Without them, your visibility and safety could be severely compromised.
Headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals are designed to improve your car’s visibility to others, especially in the rain. Make sure all of your car’s lights are working properly before you head out on the road. Plus, many states require by law that you use your headlights when it’s raining.1
Use the windshield wipers properly
Your windshield wipers have different speed settings. For your safety, use the slowest setting when the rain is light. This way, your wipers won’t get overused and unnecessarily worn down. When it’s pouring, turn the wipers to a higher setting. This will help remove water droplets on the windshield so you can see what’s ahead.
It’s also important to keep your windshield wipers in top condition. This means you need to replace them periodically, or at least every six to 12 months.3
Here are some signs you may need to purchase replacement wipers:3
You hear noises when you turn the wipers on.
This could mean rubber is damaged on the blade.
There’s a vibration or jerking motion.
It’s possible that the wiper isn’t gliding across your windshield evenly.
You see streaks across the windshield.
Usually, this means the wiper blade has worn down.
Water isn’t fully removed.
The blade is probably very old and may have even torn.