Driving in the rain is dangerous and thousands of accidents every year are attributed to wet roads. It is important to consider the following tips before taking to the road in the rain.

Drive defensively

This means taking it slow while driving and knowing where other cars are on the road. Rain can reduce visibility, not to mention increase the risk for skidding. A slower pace allows for your car's tires tread to have better contact and traction while driving in the rain. Driving defensively also means keeping a safe distance from the cars around you. It can take three times longer to stop on wet surfaces so it is crucial to keep a safe distance from the car in front of you.

Check tires before driving

Be sure to monitor your tire's air pressure and tread depth before hitting the road in the rain. You should check your tire pressure every month. Consult your car owner's manual for the proper tire pressure as it differs in every car. Tires should also have 4/32 inch tread depth in order to perform efficiently. Proper tread depth can make all the difference while driving in the rain, preventing skids and hydroplaning.

Recovering from a skid

Skids can happen at even the most unexpected time to the most cautious drivers, especially during rainy weather. In the event of a skid it is important not to slam or pump the brakes, but rather apply pressure while steering your car in the direction of the skid.

Recovering from hydroplaning

Hydroplaning can cause a car to slide across the surface of water on the road because the water creates a barrier between your tires and the road. Again, it is important not to slam on the brakes but rather to apply them lightly and hold the steering wheel in place.

Defog your windows

Windows have an increased chance of fogging up in the rain. They can fog up quickly so it is important to turn on your front and rear defrosters upon entering the car. Visibility is bad enough in the rain and a window can fog up in an instant, increasing the likelihood of an accident

Don't use cruise control

If you are driving in cruise control and your car begins to hydroplane, it is possible that this will cause your car to accelerate. In addition, cruise control also allows drivers to keep their foot away from the pedals, which could be dangerous while driving in rain.

Turn on headlights

Not only does this help you see, even in a light rain, but it also helps other motorists see your car. Do not put the highbeams on for that could cause light to reflect back at you from falling raindrops. Keep the lights to a normal setting or use fog lights if you have them.

Use your turn signal

The Society of Automotive Engineers research shows that drivers failing to activate the signal at all or failing to turn when the signal is activated, happens 750 billion times a year and could account for as many as 2 million accidents every year. The society estimates that the problem is more dangerous than distracted driving, which includes cell phone use and eating while driving, which account for 950,000 accidents each year. The importance of using a turn signal becomes even more important while driving in the rain.

Buckle Up

This tip goes for anytime, not just in the rain. With an increased chance of wrecking in the rain, a seatbelt can make all the difference.