MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - With the rain over the past few days, car accidents caused by bad weather could happen a lot more often. 41NBC spoke to a defensive driving instructor to find out what you need to know to navigate the rainy roads.
Rain plus slick roads is a dangerous combination.
"Weather conditions are probably the hardest to drive in and we have to be aware of our surroundings," Denise Parker, the owner and instructor of Dee's Defensive Driving said.
Parker teaches her students on how to become a defensive driver.
"Driving to stop accidents and keep everyone safe on the road, particularly being aware of those around you as well as your own driving," she said.
Especially in wet weather. Her tips to stay safe on slippery roads: follow the law and turn on your headlights.
"Windshield wipers or not, lights need to be on at all times."
She says you should never use cruise control when it is raining. Your car could hydroplane and when that happens, "your car doesn't have contact with pavement," Parker said. "Therefore the cruise control says 'Oh well, I've got to get a little faster to get the traction here' and then when the car comes in contact with pavement again the car is out of control."
The biggest thing you can do is to slow down. Parker says if you reduce your speed, the number of car accidents in bad weather can be cut in half.
"If its 55 miles per hour, drop it down to what?" 41NBC's Amanda Castro asked. "At least 45. Rain is just very deceptive and we think 'Oh I've got this under control' and we really don't when there are so many puddles and glare in the road," Parker said.
If you follow these rules of the road, Parker says you'll save lives, time, and money.
"You're going to get there on time and not in a body bag, you're going to get there without the insurance company having to replace your vehicle and someone else's vehicle, and you're not going to have killed someone else."
Parker says you should put three seconds in between you and the car in front of you—that gives you enough time to stop the car at any speed. She also says if you are hydroplaning, don't slam on the brakes. Instead, steer the wheel in the direction that you're going and then bring it back slowly into the direction that you want to go.
Parker says taking a defensive driving course can get you a discount on your car insurance. Click here for more information.