Texas is known for its strong storms and heavy rains, especially in the spring and summer months. Driving in these Texas sized rainstorms can put your defensive driving skills to a real test. Here are some Texas defensive driving tips to keep in mind the next time you experience one of these downpours.

Turn on your lights and wipers.

Many newer cars will turn the lights on automatically with the wipers. Unlike many states, it is not the law in Texas to have your lights on when your wipers are on, but local law enforcement generally encourages it.

Slow down.

Roadways are particularly slick when it first starts raining because of the buildup of oil and other car fluids on the roadways.

When you slow down, make sure you move into the slower, right hand lane if you are traveling on a multi-lane highway.

Increase your stopping distance

Increase your stopping distance between yourself and the vehicle in front of you. Safe assured clear distances are taught in defensive driving courses but they are even more important in rain.

Refrain from using your emergency flashers

Refrain from using your emergency flashers unless the traffic ahead of you is slowing to a stop.

Don’t drive through water

Don’t drive through water that crosses the road if you don’t know how deep it is.

Speed limit

Drive the speed the road conditions warrant, not the speed limit.

Pull safely off the road

If the rain gets too heavy or the wind too strong, pull safely off the road and put on your flashers. Do not park under a power pole or tall trees especially in lightning and high winds.

Using these Texas defensive driving tips in rainstorms can increase your safety and that of your passengers. Remember, even new tires can lose contact to the road surface in heavy rains when traveling too fast for the conditions. Many Texas roads don’t drain well and practicing these TX defensive driving habits can keep your rubber on the road!

Even the most experienced of drivers can use a reminder now and then. It can pay to take a defensive driving course to review what you may have learned years ago. The completion of an affordable online Texas defensive driving course may even earn you an auto insurance discount. This discount will likely more than pay for the course, and may make you a better, and safer, driver. Contact your insurance agent to see if your provider offers such discounts.