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It’s summer in Southwest Florida, and you know what that means. It’s that time of year where you can expect heavy rainfall and scattered storms.

Turn your headlights on. People often fail to have their headlights on while driving in the rain. Florida Law, particularly Florida Statute §316.217(1)(b) states that “every vehicle operated upon a highway within this state shall display lighted lamps and illuminating devices…under the following conditions; …During any rain, smoke or fog…”

You do not want to give law enforcement, much less insurance companies the chance to blame you for an accident caused by someone else’s negligence over something as simple as neglecting to turn your headlights on in the rain. Click here to read more about accidents caused by negligence. When checking your vehicle’s settings, make sure that if you have auto-powered headlamps that they are working properly in the rain. This is not just for your safety, but also the safety of other drivers on the road.

We often see people engaging their hazards while their vehicle is moving. This is a violation of Florida law. Florida Statute §316.2397(7)(a) also states that “Flashing lights are prohibited on vehicles except…to indicate that the vehicle is lawfully stopped or disabled upon the highway…”

If the rain is heavy enough that you feel the need to use your hazards, simply pull over to the side of the road in a legal and cautious manner. Don’t create a hazard yourself by failing to follow Florida law in this regard.

Keep in mind that  Florida Statute §316.183 states that “no person shall drive a vehicle on a highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing…The driver of every vehicle shall…drive at an appropriately reduced speed when…any special hazard exists with respect to pedestrians or other traffic or by reason of weather or highway conditions…”

At the end of the day, there is no excuse for failing to reduce your speed when conditions call for you to do so. When you are driving in the rain, turn your headlights on, reduce your speed, and exert extra caution.

These laws exist for a reason, so be safe out there!