Driving safely on the road in pouring down rain and wet roadways can be a challenge. One of the things to keep in mind is the method of driving on wet pavement versus dry.
Just like a boat on the water, your vehicle can skid over the water in what is called hydroplaning. When your hydroplaning your tires lose traction with the pavement and you are now slipping and sliding over water. Worn tires, tires not inflated correctly, how fast you are going and the amount of water on the pavement contribute to hydroplaning. This is scary and the first thing to do is Don’t Panic!
Here are some tips to get your though hydroplaning safely.
Take your foot off the accelerator.
Do not step on the brake.
Shift the vehicle into neutral.
As the car is slowing down, steer in the direction you want to go.
Here are some tips to help you in a rain storm.
• Turn on your lights if they do not automatically come on. It is required by law but sometimes it is the smallest things we forget to do. This will not only help you see but will help other motorists to see your car on the road.
• Reduce your speed when you are approaching any sort of large puddle or flooded roadway. Decreasing your speed will increase the contact of your tires treads on the surface of the road and reduce the risk of hydroplaning in pooled water. (See tips for driving on flooded roads here)
• Stay a safe distance from other cars to avoid an accident. If they start to hydroplane it could cause them to come into your car.
• If you are approaching stop signs or light signals, slow down a bit sooner than normally and give yourself time to stop completely when you get to the light or stop sign.
Try to drive as smoothly and cautiously as possible. Avoid excessive braking and accelerating and be careful when going around corners, if you tires are slippery you veer off instead.
Maintaining your vehicle is vital for just a time such as a very wet roadway or rain storm.
• Make sure both your headlights are working correctly. You want others to see you in the daylight and at night.
• Check your windshield wipers. Replace the current wiper blades with new ones whenever there are any issues with it cleaning the windshield properly.
• Your tires are vital for your safety. Get good tires that are suited for wet and dry conditions. Look more for quality then low price. Make sure your tires are inflated to standard of your vehicle. Well maintained tires can cut through water and more importantly keep traction better then worn tires. If you do not see good tread on your tires, its time to go shopping.
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