Dark clouds looming overhead, a sudden wind, heavy with moistened air, and the unmistakable rumbling of distant thunder. If you are someone who calls Florida home, you’re no stranger to these telltale signs of an unexpected summer storm rolling in. With a rainy season that spans from May through October, storms are an unavoidable fact of life for Floridians. It is therefore critical that all residents and visitors know how to drive in wet weather conditions.

To help you navigate Florida’s highways and byways, we’ve pulled together our tried and true tips for driving in rain safely.

You should check your car on a regular basis, and some checks will help you to prepare for heavy rain. Ask yourself:

• Are your windshield wipers in good condition?

• Are your lights working?

• Is your tire pressure correct?

• Is the tread on your tires at least 1/16 of an inch?

Go Slow & Avoid Heavy Braking

Traffic tends to move slower when it is raining. And for good reason! Driving too fast during a rainstorm can lead to aquaplaning. To prevent aquaplaning, turn off cruise control, slow down and drive defensively. If your car starts to aquaplane, gently ease your foot off the gas and avoid steering until your vehicle regains contact with the road. During rainy weather conditions, plan for a longer travel time so that you don’t feel rushed on the road.

Keep a Safe Distance

Social distancing is not just for people! Keeping a safe distance between your car and the car in front of you is always important, but even more vital in wet weather conditions because stopping distances are longer. Make sure to increase your 2 second gap to at least 4 seconds.

Use Your Wipers and Lights

Turning on your windshield wipers in the rain is obvious, but if they’re dirty or worn out they won’t be as effective. Turn on or check your automatic headlights every time you use your windshield wipers. Florida drivers are legally required to turn their headlights on and their hazard lights off during a rainstorm. It is illegal in Florida to drive in the rain with your hazard lights on.

Avoid Puddles

The big splash you get when you drive through a huge puddle can cause water to enter the engine compartment of your vehicle and damage the internal systems. If it’s safe to do so, drive around large puddles, and avoid running water. Once you have safely passed, lightly press on your brake pedal to dry off your brake rotors.

Stay Sharp

When weather conditions are less than ideal, visibility on the road is low. It is essential that you stay alert and focus on what's going on around you. Pay attention to signals from other drivers and road signs. If you tend to get distracted while driving, make sure to turn off the radio and leave your phone in the back seat.

Do you need to have your windshield replaced or have that side window fixed that won't quite close? Call us at 407-367-8365 or click here for a free quote.