Ten Things Colorado Drivers Should Do But Often Don't When It's Raining

Denver has been stuck in a wet weather pattern for weeks, and forecasts for today call for a lot more moisture.

That's good for lawns and trees, but not for commuters.

A lot of our readers complain about people who don't know how to drive in the snow — especially if they're from out of state. But even a lot of native Colorado drivers are pains during rain, since a lot of us tend to take it granted, thinking that if we can handle a blizzard, a little downpour won't be a problem.

With that in mind, we offer a little reminder about the ten things Colorado drivers should do but often don't when it's raining, inspired by "Get a Grip," a guide from the American Automobile Association, better known as AAA.

Check out our photo-illustrated top ten below, followed by the complete AAA brochure.

Number 10:
Make Sure Your Car Will Be Better When It's Wetter

Have you checked your tires lately? Do all four of them have decent tread? Are they properly inflated? How about your brakes? Are they in good shape? And your wipers — do they actually wipe, or do they leave streaks that are harder to see through than the precipitation? If your answer to any of these questions is "no," you've got some work to do.

Number 9: Get Your Mind Right

Grown-up boy scouts aren't the only drivers who should be prepared. Commuting on wet streets requires you to alter your driving style when it comes to stopping, starting, changing lanes, standing water and more. If you don't make these adjustments mentally before you head out on the roads, you may not be able to do so physically — at least not in time.

Number 8: Avoid Wardrobe Malfunctions

That raincoat makes sense when you're outside. But inside your car, it may wrap around your legs in a way that's uncomfortable or irritating. Or you could get too hot and decide you need to take it off. While you're driving. On rain-washed pavement. In heavy traffic. What could go wrong? Nothing if you make sure you're comfortable when you're driving and wait until you're getting out to suit up.

Number 7:
 Use Your Defroster Even If It's Not Freezing

Your windows can fog up on rainy days even if it's not bitter cold outside. This situation can be fixed by gapping your window and turning on the defroster to a higher speed, at least for a few minutes. Because defrosters aren't just for winter anymore.

Number 6: Brighten Up

Driving with your lights on the low-beam setting during a rainstorm doesn't make you look like a twerp. Doing so simply allows other drivers to see you from a greater distance, especially if you remembered to clean off your headlights before you began your trip. You did that, right? If not, you should.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts