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Driving in Rain & What to Do About Vehicle Storm Damage

Most of us drive at least a few times per week. Some of us are on the road for hours every day. Choosing the right vehicle is critical to our safety. And choosing the right insurance is key to protecting our financial security in times of accidents. Driving already comes with many risks. These risks increase during storms. For example, high winds and heavy rain can cause hydroplaning and subsequent collisions. This can cause extreme damage to your vehicle. It is also very important to be extra careful when driving in these conditions, because it also endangers your life.

Driving Safely in the Rain

You have probably heard of hydroplaning, but what is it exactly? Well, according to Les Schwab, “Hydroplaning happens when your tires lose contact with the road and start rolling on top of a thin film of water. It can happen any time a tire’s tread can't channel water away fast enough to maintain proper contact with the road.” So, what do you do if you experience this? Well, the response might surprise you, because it is a little counterintuitive:

  1. Remember that the actual hydroplaning lasts a few seconds.

  2. Even during this short time, you might need to use your brakes or steer in order to prevent a collision. Do this if necessary!

  3. Les Schwab explains that the safest reaction is to first remove your foot from the gas pedal.

  4. Next, they recommend minimizing both braking and steering as much as possible until the skidding has ended.

It is important to make sure that your brakes and tires are both in good shape to handle rainy conditions. Also, be mindful of heavy rain days and the beginning of a rainstorm when the roads are at their slickest.

Flood Damage to Vehicles

Furthermore, when flooding occurs, that poses many dangers. Driving through flood waters can cause severe damage to your car. If you know there is a chance of flooding, try to avoid driving if possible. If you are already driving and run into flooded roadways, try to turn around and find alternative routes. Even the sturdiest vehicles designed for all terrains are no match for the fury of nature. Remember, flood waters can hide obstacles from your view even if the water level isn’t high. It is best to avoid driving in flooded areas.

Of course, in many situations, this flood damage might be completely out of your control. For example, if your car is parked at home and seems safe, it is still not invulnerable to flood waters. So what happens if a heavy rainstorm or a hurricane brings a flood that buries your car in water? What do you do next?

Well, the most important thing to do is not to drive the vehicle until you know the extent of the damage. In some cases, the vehicle may not be safe to drive. According to an article from Kelley Blue Book, “Even relatively shallow floodwater is still corrosive and can significantly affect the car’s brakes”. If the interior of the car is wet, do your best to dry the car out by opening all the doors and windows.

Insurance Coverage

The first part of this process is to take pictures of all the damage for insurance purposes. Next, you will want to check with your insurance company to verify the type of coverage that you have. Comprehensive coverage will cover flood damage, accidents, and damage caused by things such as hail or fallen trees. Now, you might already have comprehensive coverage, as it is commonly required now when securing an auto loan. If you do not have comprehensive coverage, this might be the time to upgrade. Don’t worry; Insuravita can help!

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