We've had an especially wet summer. While it is always important to have your full attention on the road, it is especially important while it's raining. Staying alert helps prevent accidents that can cause injuries and have other devastating impacts.
Unfortunately, many drivers do not pay enough attention when weather conditions take a bad turn. Rain pulls motor oil, grease, and dirt from the road -- making roads slick, especially during the first 15 minutes of a steady rain. All too often slick roads, reduced visibility and distracted drivers lead to catastrophic accidents.
It helps to check the weather ahead of time so you know what to expect on your drive. It is unpleasant enough to load bags into your car at the grocery store during a pouring rain and even worse to worry about your brakes or wipers not working properly. Please check your tires often. We recommend having them checked by a specialist and rotated every six months. Safe tires are crucial for controlling skidding and preventing hydroplaning.
Adjust to wet conditions by slowing down. Give yourself extra time to get where your going when it's raining. Allow more space between your car and the car in front of you. It's often the other driver you need to worry about, and extra space gives you more time to react to the unexpected. Driving safely when conditions are wet can save your life or the life of another, even when the mistake is theirs.
Turn Off Cruise Control
Cruise control is a great tool for staying at a constant speed when driving long distances. It should be turned off when roads are wet. If you hydroplane when cruise control is on, your car could accelerate.
When puddles form on the road, you have an increased risk of hydroplaning. Collected water creates a barrier between your tires and the road, causing your tires to lose traction. If your car starts to hydroplane, there are a couple steps to follow:
- Take your foot off the gas
- Lightly tap the brakes and avoid breaking hard
- Maintain a strong hold on the steering wheel and keep it in place