Traffic

What’s riskier than driving in Mississippi? Driving here when it rains

The victims of a wreck on Canal Road sustained non-life threatening injuries after an SUV and a truck collided almost head-on last week.
The victims of a wreck on Canal Road sustained non-life threatening injuries after an SUV and a truck collided almost head-on last week.

South Mississippi roads aren’t the safest place in the best of times. Far too many drivers speed, drive while impaired and disregard red lights. Last Christmas, South Mississippi led the state in tickets written by state troopers.

It pays to drive defensively.

And rain just adds to the risk. When it comes to weather, a lot more people die in weather-related crashes than are killed by hurricanes, floods or tornadoes, according to SafeWise, a group of insurance industry experts known for their reviews and advice on home security system.

They also ran the numbers on car crashes. Mississippi, it found, is the second riskiest state for driving in the rain. SmartAsset.com, a financial tech firm, rated Mississippi drivers the second worst in the nation. Oh, and SafeWise finds we’re one of the rainiest states as well.

So here are five ways State Farm, the insurer, says you can avoiding adding to the highway mayhem on a rainy day.

Use your head

It says most of us sort of drive on autopilot, which often is good enough to get us from here to there — except when it rains. The company says you should adjust your attitude and pay close attention to what’s going on around you.

And your headlights

Yeah. A no-brainer. But if you’re a regular reader of Sound Off, you know that people aren’t always using that gray matter.

Beware of hydroplaning

It doesn’t take much rain to turn a roadway into a toboggan run. Slow down are you could find yourself losing control.

Turn off cruise control

It increases the likelihood of hydroplaning. You need to react quickly if your vehicle starts to slide. That’s hard to do when you don’t have your foot on the accelerator.

Slow down

Nothing will get a driver in trouble quicker in the rain than excessive speed. Even driving the speed limit can be too fast for rainy weather.

Paul Hampton: 228-284-7296, @JPaulHampton

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