Right now, Hurricane Florence is making landfall and bringing heavy winds, heavy rains, and major flooding to North Carolina. It is not likely that this storm will be the last of the hurricane season. Hurricane preparation is one thing at home; you stock food and water and candles or evacuate. But if you’re in your car and driving through a seriously bad storm, these tips for driving in the rain and wind will help you out.
The wind is something that you don’t think about when driving until a gust suddenly slams into your car and makes you correct your course on the highway. It can be frightening, but usually easy to overcome. With hurricane season will come storms with heavy winds and possibly more than those strong, sudden gusts.
If driving in heavy wind is an issue while you’re on the road, you first need to make sure you’re prepared. One of the worst things about a sudden gust of wind, while you’re driving, is that it’s easy to panic. You can feel like you’re losing control. By being prepared, physically and mentally, for a sudden gust you can make it easier to recover and stay calm. You’ll want to maintain a firm grip on the steering wheel and pay close attention to the road. Keep an eye out for tractor-trailers, vans, RVs, or similar large vehicles that are going to be hit harder by the wind. These vehicles may be harder to manage during high winds and the drivers may struggle to stay in their lanes.
You’ll also want to be prepared for heavy rains. Hurricanes can dump inches of rain in a very short amount of time and it may keep raining for long periods. If you’re caught in driving rain while driving, you’ll want to know what to do.
The first thing to do when driving in heavy rain is to turn on both your wipers and your headlights. The wipers are a given, but your lights will make you more visible to other vehicles, even if it’s bright enough to see without them. Make sure your headlights are in working order, clean them if they are not as bright as they should be. You’ll also want to keep an eye out for large puddles. When you hit a large puddle at higher speeds, you may swerve. So, keep an eye out and your speed down. You’ll also want to leave more distance between you and the car ahead of you. If the rain is seriously impeding your drive, just pull over and wait it out. And remember to never drive through flood waters. You never know how deep flood waters can be or what may be lurking below the surface to jam up your vehicle.