A rainy day at the track has never deterred Verizon IndyCar® Series driver James Hinchcliffe. Of course, being an expert driver and having a top-notch pit crew certainly helps. But what about those of us who spend our lives off the racetrack?
We caught up with James recently to ask him for some pro tips on driving in the rain.
- When it’s raining hard, visibility is cut down significantly. Not only is the downpour of rain a factor, but you’re also dealing with other cars spraying your car as they go past. James advises that you leave lots of room between you and the vehicle in front of you.
- Stay focused and pay extra attention to what’s going on around you. As James says, “if you can’t see it, you can’t stop for it”.
- Overall, your ability to brake on slick, rainy roads is diminished. You’ll want to slow things down to keep from hydroplaning (in other words, losing traction with the pavement and sliding across the water).
- If your car does start to hydroplane, don’t panic and don’t brake or accelerate suddenly. Instead, look for an open space to move towards and ease your foot off the accelerator and steer in the direction of that open space.
- Make sure your lights are on so you’re visible to other vehicles.
James’ most important tip (and this applies to driving under any conditions) is not to rely on your car to get you through bad weather. Always remember that you’re the one behind the wheel so you’re in control.