How can I improve visibility in the rain?

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When driving in the rain, visibility is one of the most important factors to avoid a motor vehicle crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), weather conditions were the critical reason for an estimated 58 percent of the motor vehicle crashes attributed to environmental factors:

  • Fifty percent caused by slick roads
  • Four percent caused by fog, rain, or snow
  • Four percent caused by other weather-related conditions

Driving in the rain increases the risk of an accident because the roads are wet and it reduces visibility. You cannot do anything about the roads being wet, but there are steps you can take to improve your visibility.

Wiper Blades

Make sure you have good wipers that do not scrape or catch on the surface of your windshield. If you have a wiper for the rear window of your vehicle, check it too. Replace any wipers that are worn out and not effectively clearing your windshield.

Windshield Wiper Controls

The best wiper blades in the world will not do you any good if your windshield wiper controls are not working. Properly functioning controls are an essential piece of safety equipment for your vehicle. If your wiper controls begin to malfunction, immediately take your vehicle in for repair. Weather can be unpredictable, and having broken wiper controls is an unacceptable risk.

Rain Repellant

Several companies make rain repellant products for vehicle windshields. Read the reviews of several products, then choose one that seems to be a good product for your climate and environment.


Your vehicle headlights are vital for your safety. They illuminate your driving path and they help other drivers see you. If you are driving with old headlights that have become dull, you may struggle to see in front of you and other drivers may not see you as well in rainy conditions. Check these factors in particular to make sure your headlights are in good working order:

  • Brightness – How well do they light your path?
  • Distance – How far down the road can they illuminate?
  • Haze – Do you have build-up on the surface of your headlights?

If your headlights are no longer sufficiently doing the job, you can replace the bulbs. Even if only one bulb is not working well, replace the bulbs in both headlights at the same time. This is an inexpensive safety upgrade.

If your headlights are covered with a dull build-up, try removing the build-up to improve performance. There are many products on the market for removing the build-up and then sealing the headlight covers to protect against future build-up.

In some rainy conditions, your high beams might cause glare and reflection, especially if there is fog with the rain. If this is the case, consider using your low beams if they provide sufficient illumination.


The defogger for your windshield and your rear window need to be working properly to prevent your windows from fogging up and obscuring your view. If your defoggers are not working correctly, take them in for repair right away.

Also see our page on walking in the rain and bicycling in the rain for additional rainy weather safety tips.

If you have been injured while driving in the rain because of another driver’s negligence, contact a Kirkland car accident lawyer at Max Meyers Law PLLC for help. Call us today at 425-399-7000 to set up your free consultation.

Max Meyers
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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.