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Seattle is known across the country as one of the rainiest cities. Heavy rainfall can create many hazards, so you need to know how to handle yourself in rain as a Seattle driver.

On average, we get precipitation 155 days out of the year. Heavy rainfall can render drivers virtually blind or cause your car to lose traction, so it’s important to know how to stay safe when you get stuck in the rain.

  1. Wait it out – If the rain is heavy enough to make you feel uncomfortable driving, don’t. Check the weather in your area and if you can, postpone your travels until it’s safer.
  2. Doublecheck your car – It’s always smart to make sure your headlights, taillights, windshield wipers and tires. All these are essential to have in working order to keep yourself safe in heavy rains.
  3. Go slow – Even if cars around you are going fast, or even the speed you normally would on the road, remember that driving slow helps accommodate for the slower reaction times of your vehicle.
  4. Always use your headlights – Even with only light rain, turn on your headlights so that other drivers can see you through the rain.
  5. Wipers, wipers, wipers – It seems obvious but using your windshield wipers at the appropriate speed is the first thing you should do when driving in the rain.
  6. Stay far from other cars – With reduced visibility and increased difficulty in stopping, make sure you stay farther away from other cars than you normally would.
  7. Brake slowly – Cruising with your foot off the gas and then pressing your brake slowly can help your car gain traction and stop properly in rain.
  8. Watch out for pooling water – Your car can lose traction and control if you drive across standing water. You can avoid hydroplaning by driving around pools of water on the road.
  9. Know what to do if you hydroplane – If your car does end up hydroplaning, here are a couple of things to do: stay calm, take your foot off the gas and don’t make quick turns or braking.
  10. Open your windows – Cracking your windows open a bit can help regulate temperatures and reduce fog on your windows so that you can see better.

Even if you feel like an expert Seattle driver, don’t assume that the drivers around you are. Always be cautious of other vehicles losing traction or drivers who are unable to see properly.