Thunderstorms can bring dangerous conditions to the road. Follow these tips to avoid an accident that could increase your car insurance rates.
Protect Yourself From Lightning
Being inside of a closed car leaves you almost perfectly protected against lightning. The metal exterior directs a potential lightning strike around you, and your rubber tires mean it can't get to the ground through your car and will follow another path. This doesn't apply to motorcycles, convertibles, Jeeps, or other vehicles that are open or only have a soft enclosure.
The main danger is walking to or from your car. If you're not in a protected garage, don't leave your car or the building you're in until the lightning passes.
Keep Lights And Wipers On During Rain
This sounded like common sense when you took driver's ed, but many drivers still forget. Turn your wipers on early on a low setting rather than waiting for rain or mist to obstruct your vision.
Don't rely on your automatic running lights to improve your vision and make you visible to other drivers. The forward-facing lights aren't always as bright as if you manually turn your headlights on. Your rear running lights also may not turn on automatically making it hard for drivers behind you to see you in low visibility.
Adjust Your Speed
Heavy rain reduces your visibility, and wet roads make it harder to stop. Decrease your speed so that you can see a safe stopping distance ahead of you for the current conditions.
Don't Flash Your Hazards
Never turn your hazards on during low visibility or slow traffic. Your hazard lights mean that you've stopped off the side of the road, you need to get off the road due to a mechanical problem or your car is disabled in traffic. Improper use can confuse the drivers behind you, as they'll think they need to take action to avoid you. You can also make it more dangerous for drivers properly using their hazards, since other drivers may get used to seeing hazards flashing and not realize when something is wrong.
The best way to stay safe during a thunderstorm is to leave a little earlier or later to avoid it. Even if you take safety precautions, driving in a thunderstorm still increases your chances of being in an accident that could increase your auto insurance rates.
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