Southern California is known for its sunny weather nearly all year long. As recent wildfires have shown, though, the state sometimes does not get enough rain. Not only can this create fire dangers, but it could also set up dangers for drivers. Accident rates can increase in wet weather, possibly even more so when drivers do not have sufficient practice handling rainy roads when rain ultimately does come down.

Now, you can’t control how other drivers act in rain, so there can always be special safety risks related to being out on the roads in rainy weather. The good news, however, is that you can steps to try to reduce your odds of a rain-related motor vehicle accident, such as following these simple tips for driving in the rain.

Drive defensively

Some motorists succumb to distractions or mentally go on autopilot when driving, but inclement weather demand full attention. It can be good idea to go under the speed limit by about 30 percent and increase your following distance, as it takes longer for your car to stop on slick roads, and you can easily lose control of the vehicle by slamming on your brakes. Turn on your headlights even in daytime, use your wipers to help with visibility and follow all traffic laws to a T.

Prevent hydroplaning

Never use cruise control in rain, as it can contribute to hydroplaning due to the change in vehicular weight distribution. If your tires spin on the water instead of the road, take your foot off the gas pedal and gently steer straight to avoid skidding all over the place. Take a different route if possible when you see large puddles of water. They can be deeper than they look, and you can get stuck or ruin internal car parts if you drive through them.

Keep your vehicle in shape

Make sure your tires have enough tread on them and replace them once they are worn. Always check that all your lights work. Invest in quality windshield wipers and install new ones when they start losing effectiveness. Take your car in for regular maintenance to avoid malfunctions or breakdowns in the middle of a rainstorm.