SPRINGFIELD, Mass (WWLP) – We all know how a sudden heavy rainstorm deteriorates driving conditions. It’s tough to see, difficult to gauge distances to other cars, and it can make you nervous about hydroplaning– having your tires lose traction on the highway.
22News went to Elm Auto School in West Springfield, to talk with a driving expert on the best ways to get through torrential rain when you’re behind the wheel.
The first step is to slow down.
“They’re going to tell you the minimum speed limit on a Mass interstate or limited access highway is 45 miles per hour, but low, as low as you need to go.”Bethany Savio, Elm Auto School
If no matter how much you slow down, you still can’t see, pull over somewhere safe until the rain’s intensity lessens.
Savio recommends keeping your car well maintained. Make sure your wiper blades are in good condition, your headlights are working, and that your tires have tread. Without good tires, your car won’t grip the road well enough to be able to drive safely on wet roads.
The long-term trend is wetter in western Massachusetts. Springfield is seeing more days with heavy rain, with an increase in days with at least a half-inch and one inch of rainfall since 1970.