Important tips to remember if you’re driving in wet weather
From Gary Richards – The Roadshow Guy
Here are tips from the California Highway Patrol, Ray-the-Tow-Truck-Man, and the AAA.
- Slow down.
- Wipers on, lights on. It’s the law.
- Drive in the tire prints of cars ahead. When a car hydroplanes, it’s riding on a thin layer of water between the tires and road. Water in tire prints has already been displaced, so you get better traction.
- Stay toward the middle lanes. Water tends to pool in outside lanes.
- If your car hydroplanes, hold the steering wheel steady and lightly apply brakes.
- If the steering feels light, gently ease off the accelerator and allow the car to slow. Don’t abruptly hit the brakes.
- If in a skid, do not brake heavily, jerk the steering wheel or panic. Turn your steering wheel into the direction of the skid and gently brake. You may feel a vibration when pressing the brake pedal. Sensors in anti-lock brakes adjust to the wet road, which is why the pedal vibrates.
- Never drive over a downed power line. If a wire touches your car, do not get out of your car unless it is on fire.
- For motorcyclists, crosswalk lines and pavement arrows are super slick. Ease up on the throttle on takeoff. Limit lane-splitting.
- Check tires and wipers. Many drivers in accidents say they couldn’t see because their wipers smeared their windshields on a rainy day.
- Keep a safe distance between you and the vehicle in front.
- Don’t brake while in a curve. Brake before entering the curve.
- Use turn signals for lane changes and turns well in advance so it does not surprise another driver.
- Don’t change lanes excessively or needlessly
- Dark traffic signals or blinking red lights mean everyone must stop
- Make sure tires have sufficient tread and are properly inflated.
- Be aware of the spray coming from passing and oncoming vehicles.
- Pay attention. Turn down the radio and turn off the phone.
- Never drive through moving water if you can’t see the ground through it: Your car could be swept off the road. If water is deeper than the bottom of your doors or the bottom third of your wheels, turn around. It can take as little as 6 inches of water to cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Most vehicles will float if there are 18 inches of water.
Gary Richards at facebook.com/mr.roadshow. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org