Arkansas is in for a rainy couple of days.

Forecasters are predicting up to 10 inches of rain for Northeast Arkansas; and more southwest of Little Rock.  Rain water by itself is not dangerous.  Driving in rain is not dangerous.

However, driving carelessly in the rain can get pretty dangerous really fast.

According to the U.S. Highway of Transportation, 573,784 auto crashes occurred during rainy conditions (2004-2013).  8% of those (over 2,700) resulted in a fatality.  If you think that’s bad, you should see the statistics for just wet roads.  It’s worse (907,831 crashes; 13% fatal).

Water and careless driving are things that don’t mix.  Here are 5 easy tips for keeping you and your family safe while driving in the rain or in a flood.


  1. Turn around, don’t drown: Water over a road is not your ordinary puddle.  The National Weather Service advises people to not try to drive on a flooded roadway.  According to, a vehicle (car, SUV, truck, or whatever) can be swept away in as little as 12 inches of moving water.  Plus, not to mention, driving through a flooded roadway can cause some serious damage to your engine.  Just be smart and try not to drive through it.
  2. If you MUST drive through it, take it slow and steady: Arkansas and all over the mid-south has a lot of country roads and you may have situations where you have to drive through the water to get home (or to work).  We can’t stress tip number one enough.  However, if you absolutely have no other choice, then take the process of driving through the water VERY SLOW.  Watch other drivers to see what they are doing first. Then, try to gauge how deep it is.  If it looks okay, go very slow and maintain a steady pace.  This tip can also be applied to driving on wet roads.  Traction on your tires is already not operating in the best conditions.  Don’t speed and try to maintain a good distance between you and the drivers around you.  Remember; drive not only for yourself, but also for the other people on the road.
  3. Stay off of the phone unless it’s an emergency: Because the road is so slippery, all of your attention is needed.  Not just for your safety, but for the other driver’s safety, too.  If you can, avoid talking on a phone on wet roads and even when going through a flooded roadway (still stressing tip number one).  Only use your phone for emergencies (such as your vehicle is stalled in the flooded water or you’re in an accident).  This tip goes double for texting!
  4. No cruise control: Cruise control is a great feature to have.  In fact, all of the vehicles in our Starks Auto Plaza inventory have this feature.  However, the feature works best in dry weather only.  On wet roads, you have to be able to control the speed in an instant.  AAA says that even if you’re going 35 mph with new tires, you can still loose traction on the road; possibly hydroplane.  Control the car; don’t let the car control you!
  5. Avoid “hard breaking”: We’ve already established that even on wet roads, traction can be very hard to maintain.  Slamming on the breaks when you’re hydroplaning or skidding is very dangerous.  AAA suggests that if you feel your car about to skid out of control, first don’t panic!  Continue to look and steer in the direction you want the car to go, and then accelerate.  They also suggest not doing all of those things all at once.

Above all, make sure that you are using common sense when you’re driving on a wet road (or in any weather for that matter).  Also, make sure your tires are in excellent condition and that your car is in working order.

If you’re car is not in working order, then it’s a good thing you’re on a dealer’s website.

Thank you and always remember to focus on your future and stay safe!