Let's Get Wet: Driving in the Rain
Preparing for the road
Before embarking on a driving trip during rainy conditions you should always double-check your car's condition. The brakes, tires pressure and tread depth should be in tip-top condition. Although more than one tire manufacturer designs tires specifically for wet roads, a set of all-season or summer tires should be just perfect for the job at hand. Your windshield wipers should work properly and you should replace any blade that is brittle or damaged.
Hydroplaning: fun but dangerous
In simple words, hydroplaning means no control. None, whatsoever. You're just a passenger in the car. In order to avoid skidding, you should be driving at much lower speeds than usual, but also avoid using the brakes whenever possible, especially on cars without ABS. The tires of course should be properly inflated and have a good amount of tread life on them.
If the car does begin to hydroplane, keep your calm and DO NOT brake or turn suddenly, because this will only make the car skid. You should just gently ease off the gas pedal until the car slows down enough to be controllable. If you do have to brake, do it very gently, since any disturbance in the masses acting on each wheel might transform you from the driver into the passenger we were talking about earlier.
Keeping your distance
You do of course know that rain also reduces the driver's perception, besides transforming the roads into a duck's forbidden playground. Since the visibility is reduced during rain, the normal distance you keep from the car in front should be far greater. Drive at a lower pace than normal because the traffic is likely to be moving slower as well, and the drivers' reaction times are highly decreased during rain.
Every time you realize that you have to brake, do it earlier than usual but much more gently. This can give the driver behind you more travel time and more space for maneuvering if something comes up in the front. Also, use your lights and signals much more meticulously than before, even if it’s daytime. Visibility is crucial in a time when braking distances and reaction times are much longer than usual.
Of course, driving in the rain and avoiding water sound like two different actions that exclude each other, but it isn't always the case. Whenever you see a large puddle up ahead, try to go around it or even choose a different road. There are several reasons for not trying to imitate the Korean SUV commercial you saw earlier (ed, smashing the acceleration whenever the driver sees a puddle).
First of all, you never know what's behind (actually, under) puddle number one, or two, three... etcetera. A huge pothole could be hiding under there, and these are probably the main reason for damaged rims or misaligned suspensions. Also, the splash from the water could (possible though, not probable with modern cars) enter your engine compartment and damage the electrical system. When you do cross a puddle, always gently tap the braking pedal in order to dry off the accumulated water on your brake rotors.
With all these said, we wish you happy but mostly dry motoring.