TOOELE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – When summer weather gives way to fall rain, driving experts say we can all get caught off guard — but it’s not inevitable.
At The Driving School in Tooele, instructor Tony Ellenberger says you can do a few things in rain that apply to any conditions.
Turn your vehicle lights “on” — not automatic — because it makes your brake lights brighter and makes you more visible. Rear-end crashes are the most common, said Ellenberger.
In fact, he says, he teaches students to drive with their lights on all the time — rain or shine, day or night.
It’s also important for you to brake gradually so that the driver behind you can slow down with you — and when you slow down, make sure you give yourself distance from the car ahead of you.
“You need to make sure that you can see the back wheels of the tire of the car in front of you. Seeing that touch the asphalt. That’s when you know you have enough space. If you can’t do that, you’re too close — and that’s dangerous,” said Ellenberger.
It’s also a good time to replace your windshield wipers and check your tire tread, he says.
And, if you are hydroplaning or caught in snow, he says that taking your foot off the gas is the first thing to do regardless of circumstances.
Another driving expert told ABC4 that it’s crucial to check your headlights this time of year to make sure they’re working properly.
Also, he says, his experience teaching commercial drivers included teaching those drivers to look much further down the road than you might usually do. And a pro driving tip? If you are touching your face or nose or hair and you’re behind the wheel, it’s a sign you’re likely tired. He says this tip was helpful for drivers who travel long distances and might not quite realize their fatigue.