Driving in not-so-perfect weather conditions can be frightening, as a majority of vehicle accidents happen because of slippery roads. Reduced traction, decreased visibility, and rash driving are only a few side effects of wet roads, making them intimidating to even the most experienced driver. Follow our tips below to keep your trip safe during inclement weather!
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Before you head toward your destination, make sure you can see and can be seen. Test your windshield wipers regularly to confirm that they do not need to be replaced. Make sure your headlights, taillights, brake lights, and turn signals work properly so other drivers will see you during heavy rain. Also verify that your tires have proper tread and air pressure, and that you have a spare tire easily accessible if needed. As you head out to drive, be sure that your headlights are on! Not only will it help you navigate, but the law also mandates it.
While you may be tempted to drive fast to get to your destination, higher speeds make your vehicle more prone to hydroplaning. Even driving at 30 miles per hour, your tires can lose contact with the roadway. Slowing down is critical to reducing chances of hydroplaning. Maintaining distance between you and the car ahead of you guarantees that you will have more time to brake in the case of an emergency. Slowing down in advance of intersections and turns will increase reaction time, making your drive much safer.
Differences in temperature inside and outside your vehicle may cause fogged windows and decreased visibility. Blasting heat causes an increase in fogging, so keep your air conditioning blowing at your windshield and back window.
Although cruise control helps you stay at a steady speed on a dry road, it can cause your car to go faster if your hydroplane on wet roads. In case you do lose control of your car, you may need to reduce your speed by lifting your foot off the accelerator. This cannot be accomplished when cruise control is engaged. If you are driving in cruise control and begin to lose traction, disengage cruise control immediately.
Water tends to gather on the sides of the road, so stay near the middle of the road to avoid losing traction. Regardless of tire size, make, or condition, your tires cannot withstand massive amounts of water. Even all-season tires cannot always make it through a large puddle. The best way to make sure that your tires cooperate is to veer away from water entirely. If you cannot avoid driving through water, lightly tap the brake pedal beforehand to give your tires more grip.
Regardless of how much driving experience you have, you cannot account for an unexpected skid. If your vehicle begins to skid, stay calm and continue to steer in the direction you want the car to go. Ease off of the accelerator but do not slam on your brakes. This can cause your breaks to lock up, making it harder to control your car. If you remain relaxed and know what to do, recovering from a skid will be much easier.
If you are truly uncomfortable with driving in inclement weather, pull over to the side of the road and wait for the rain to pass. Causing a delay in reaching your destination may be inconvenient, but nothing is more important than yielding to safety.
With the tips above, you no longer need to fear driving in slick road conditions. A wet road does not mean you have to stay indoors, as long as you keep safety and car maintenance in mind. Your tires are a vital part of keeping you safe in bad weather, so if you’re in need of new tires, be sure to browse your local options on TreadHunter today. Don’t forget to sign up for a free membership to learn more about tire safety!