April showers bring May flowers, and dangerous road conditions. Wet pavement contributes to over 1 million vehicle accidents each year. During this month please be aware of the hazards and perils involved with driving in rainy conditions. Take these five tips to stay safe:
- Check your head lights, tail lights, and windshield wipers and replace any parts that are working incorrectly. Reminder: turn on your headlights whenever you drive in the rain.
- Ensure proper tire tread depth and inflation. Insert a quarter upside down into the tire groove. If there is space between the tire & President Washington’s head, start shopping for new tires.
- Slow down! This seems obvious but bears emphasizing. Leave early to ensure you are not in a rush, higher speeds increases the chances of hydroplaning.
- Keep your distance. Generally, allow an extra 2 seconds of following time (additional 2 or 3 car lengths) to allow you and the cars behind you more time to react to traffic.
- If you feel the car begin to skid, focus on looking and steering in the direction you want the car to go. Remain calm; avoid slamming on the brakes to maintain control.
- The most dangerous time to drive is as it begins to rain, as oils on the roadway make for slick conditions.
- Stay toward the middle lanes – water tends to pool in the outside lanes.
- Drive in the tracks of a car ahead of you.
- Avoid using your brakes; if possible, take your foot off the accelerator to slow down.
- Never drive beyond the limits of visibility.