Prepare for Driving in Spring Showers
Spring and summer showers may mean flowers, but wet pavement contributes to nearly 1.2 million traffic crashes each year. Here are some tips you’ll need the next time you’re caught driving in the rain.
Make sure to replace windshield wipers that leave streaks or don’t clear the glass completely. Check the headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals to make sure they are working properly so other drivers can see you. It is also very important to always keeps your lights on.
Proper tire tread depth and inflation are important to maintain good traction on wet roadways. Check the tire tread by using a penny. Click here to learn how. Check each tire’s pressure, including the spare, at least once a month. Be sure to check the pressure when the tires are cold.
Avoid Cruise Control
Most vehicles now have cruise control. When using it in wet conditions, there is more of a chance to lose control of the vehicle. To prevent loss of traction, the driver may need to reduce the car’s speed by lifting off the accelerator, which cannot be accomplished when cruise control is in use.
Slow Down and Leave Room
Slowing down when it’s raining can be critical to reducing a car’s chance of hydroplaning. This is when the tires rise up on a film of water. With as little as 1/12 inch of water on the road, tires have to displace a gallon of water per second to keep the tire from meeting the road. Drivers should reduce their speed corresponding to the amount of water on the roadway. At speeds as low as 35 mph, new tires can still lose some contact with the roadway.
To reduce chances of hydroplaning, drivers should slow down, avoid sudden braking or turning sharply and drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you. It is important for drivers to allow ample stopping distance between cars.
Responding to a Skid
Even careful drivers can experience skids. If a driver feels their car begin to skid, it’s important to not panic and follow these basic steps:
- Continue to look and steer in the direction in which the driver wants the car to go.
- Avoid slamming on the brakes as this will further upset the vehicle’s balance and make it harder to control.
If you feel the car begin to skid, continue to look and steer in the direction you want the car to go. Don’t panic, and avoid slamming on the brakes to maintain control.
Overall you want to be extra cautious in wet weather. Slow down, avoid hard braking or turning sharply, and allow ample stopping distance between you and the cars in front of you. Also, do these things one-at-a-time. Brake, then turn, then accelerate.
Prepare yourself for spring showers by scheduling your appointment today!
Maplewood – (651) 489-9455
1728 Rice St.
Maplewood, MN 55113
Hugo – (651) 407-3611
5241 130th St. N.
Hugo, MN 55038
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