Driving in the rain is hard enough to practice without all the rumors and uncertainty surrounding it. Very clearly it presents a threat to those who need to go someplace while the weather isn’t cooperating, but some of these ideas are simply not credible. Have you heard sunglasses will help you see better when it rains? Do you wonder if having an all-wheel-drive car will keep you from hydroplaning? Well, let’s find out together. Here are 5 myths about driving in the rain: 

Myth: Cruise control will make things safer by keeping speed consistent 

The truth is cruise control is helpful when road conditions are good, but in the rain, you cannot stay safe around other drivers by keeping a consistent speed. Because things change so quickly on the road and follow distances vary so much, it is much safer to be ready to change your speed at a moment’s notice. 

Stopping distances also vary widely in the rain, so cruise control is better left for warmer weather. If you’re better able to follow the speed of traffic, it will become easier for you to stop than if you had been going, even marginally, faster than the vehicle ahead of you.  

Myth: Hydroplaning can’t happen with all-wheel drive 

When it rains it becomes harder for car tires to get traction on the road, and it doesn’t make a difference whether you have all-wheel drive or not. This myth is rooted in a lack of understanding about traction and how car tires will still lose their grip whether 2 or 4 of them are propelling the vehicle forward. The only thing that helps you regain your grip on the road is slowing down enough that hydroplaning isn’t as much of a threat. 

Myth: Having your headlights on in the rain is unsafe 

The myth goes that the light will reflect off the water droplets and blind drivers who need to see the road, however, this is only really the case with high beams. Normal headlights will not reflect in this way and will allow oncoming traffic and other drivers ahead to see where your vehicle is.  

In addition, if the rain is heavy enough it becomes harder to see the center or dashed line, and it’s easier for other drivers to swerve or lose track of where their lane is. Having your headlights on will help get their attention and allow them to see where your vehicle is and stay clear of it.  

Myth: Sunglasses will help you see in the rain 

This myth is based on the idea that some very specific types of sunglasses help. Your standard run-of-the-mill sunglasses make things worse because that makes it harder to see other driver’s headlights. However, some forms of sunglasses can help because rain or fog can cause light to scatter in several different angles, and polarized sunglasses help cut out these obstructive rays.  

But most likely, the type of sunglasses you have in your cupholder will not help you in the slightest.  

Myth: It’s still safe to drive the speed limit in the rain 

The posted speed limit signs are meant to indicate the maximum lawful speed during fair weather conditions according to the NHTSA Guidelines. This idea is just a blind trust in the speed limit signs and a lack of understanding about the speed limit laws.  

In reality, it is dangerous to try and drive the speed limit when road conditions are slick. It becomes easier to hydroplane and harder to stop on wet roads, which makes driving the speed limit a bad idea in poor weather conditions.  

Safe Practice 

Some of these myths are founded with good intentions: people spreading ideas that they think will help other people be safer. But when we look at them realistically, they don’t seem to be as helpful as we’d hoped. In truth, the main thing that keeps people safe while driving in the rain is driving slowly and carefully, and paying close attention to other cars on the road.  

Disclaimer: 

This article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If you are experiencing anxiety or other mental health symptoms, you should speak to a medical professional.

Driving in the rain is hard enough to practice without all the rumors and uncertainty surrounding it. Very clearly it presents a threat to those who need to go someplace while the weather isn’t cooperating, but some of these ideas are simply not credible. Have you heard sunglasses will help you see better when it rains? Do you wonder if having an all-wheel-drive car will keep you from hydroplaning? Well, let’s find out together. Here are 5 myths about driving in the rain: 

Myth: Cruise control will make things safer by keeping speed consistent 

The truth is cruise control is helpful when road conditions are good, but in the rain, you cannot stay safe around other drivers by keeping a consistent speed. Because things change so quickly on the road and follow distances vary so much, it is much safer to be ready to change your speed at a moment’s notice. 

Stopping distances also vary widely in the rain, so cruise control is better left for warmer weather. If you’re better able to follow the speed of traffic, it will become easier for you to stop than if you had been going, even marginally, faster than the vehicle ahead of you.  

Myth: Hydroplaning can’t happen with all-wheel drive 

When it rains it becomes harder for car tires to get traction on the road, and it doesn’t make a difference whether you have all-wheel drive or not. This myth is rooted in a lack of understanding about traction and how car tires will still lose their grip whether 2 or 4 of them are propelling the vehicle forward. The only thing that helps you regain your grip on the road is slowing down enough that hydroplaning isn’t as much of a threat. 

Myth: Having your headlights on in the rain is unsafe 

The myth goes that the light will reflect off the water droplets and blind drivers who need to see the road, however, this is only really the case with high beams. Normal headlights will not reflect in this way and will allow oncoming traffic and other drivers ahead to see where your vehicle is.  

In addition, if the rain is heavy enough it becomes harder to see the center or dashed line, and it’s easier for other drivers to swerve or lose track of where their lane is. Having your headlights on will help get their attention and allow them to see where your vehicle is and stay clear of it.  

Myth: Sunglasses will help you see in the rain 

This myth is based on the idea that some very specific types of sunglasses help. Your standard run-of-the-mill sunglasses make things worse because that makes it harder to see other driver’s headlights. However, some forms of sunglasses can help because rain or fog can cause light to scatter in several different angles, and polarized sunglasses help cut out these obstructive rays.  

But most likely, the type of sunglasses you have in your cupholder will not help you in the slightest.  

Myth: It’s still safe to drive the speed limit in the rain 

The posted speed limit signs are meant to indicate the maximum lawful speed during fair weather conditions according to the NHTSA Guidelines. This idea is just a blind trust in the speed limit signs and a lack of understanding about the speed limit laws.  

In reality, it is dangerous to try and drive the speed limit when road conditions are slick. It becomes easier to hydroplane and harder to stop on wet roads, which makes driving the speed limit a bad idea in poor weather conditions.  

Safe Practice 

Some of these myths are founded with good intentions: people spreading ideas that they think will help other people be safer. But when we look at them realistically, they don’t seem to be as helpful as we’d hoped. In truth, the main thing that keeps people safe while driving in the rain is driving slowly and carefully, and paying close attention to other cars on the road.  

Disclaimer: 

This article is meant for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. If you are experiencing anxiety or other mental health symptoms, you should speak to a medical professional.

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