Like a lot of things, there are positives and negatives when it comes to summer ending. For instance, fall means beautiful colors on foliage, fun crunchy leaves on the ground, and pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING! On the other hand, it gets colder, the days get shorter, and there’s pumpkin flavored EVERYTHING…
Depending on where you live though, one thing is for sure: the weather gets wetter. And with wet roads come more hazardous conditions. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, wet pavement alone causes nearly 1.2 million traffic accidents each year!
So what can we do to avoid being one of these statistics as the season of pumpkins and turkeys approaches? You’re in luck: we’ve compiled what we feel are some of the best tips for safe driving when the roads get wet. Read on to find out how to best protect you and your family from this slippery topic!
Avoid Cruise Control
During inclement weather, it’s very important to remain in control of your car at all times. When you’re driving in wet weather, you should avoid setting it to cruise because it relinquishes some of your immediate control over your speed. Should it become necessary to decelerate without using your breaks, it is more difficult than just lifting your foot off the gas. It can also possibly slow reaction time in the event of an emergency if you are relying on cruise control for your speed.
Slow Down and Use Caution
Driving too fast for weather conditions contributes to a large amount of accidents during the wet seasons. Whether you’re in a hurry or just have a constant need for speed, it’s important to slow down when the weather isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. Did you know that tires can lose contact with the road going as slow as 35 mph? At 60 mph, a tire can completely hydroplane! Slow down, leave earlier, and err on the side of caution.
Leave Extra Room between Cars
You can be Dale Earnhardt Jr. and have impeccable driving skills, but you can’t control what other drivers do. In the event that you are faced with someone in your path losing control, you’re going to want all the space you can get to make the proper corrections and avoid being a part of a possible catastrophe. Give people their space; it’s not you, it’s them.
Watch Further Ahead for Possible Hazards
Another “heads-up” move you can constantly execute is looking farther ahead down the road to make sure that you know what’s coming before you hit it. Is there debris in the road that’s going to cause you to have to quickly correct? Do you see a lot of standing water where you’re heading? If you can prepare or move out of the way before you get to those roadway hazards, you’ll be better off and safer for it! Not all surprises are the fun kind.
Maintain Quality Tires
There’s a fair share of people who stretch out the life of their tires maybe a little bit longer than they should during the summer months. On dry roads and good conditions, you might not experience too much trouble with them. However, when it comes to the fall and winter months, proper tire tread and inflation are extremely important to driving safety. Without these two things, tires can become dislodged and lose grip on the road much easier when moisture is introduced. If you hit some water just right, your drive on the blacktop could start to feel like a drive on an ice rink really quick.
Use Your Lights and Blinkers
One of the issues with wet weather is a decrease in visibility on the road. Your lights and blinkers are just as much to help other drivers see you and what you’re doing as they are to help you see. Make sure you are using, if not OVER using your lights to ensure as much visibility as possible. If people don’t know you’re there or that you’re changing directions, the likelihood of accidents can increase.
Make Sure Your Wipers and Fluid are Up to Snuff
Again, visibility is a major issue when it comes to rain and snow! If you can’t properly see out of your windshield, you’re basically driving a battering ram blind. That’s a big no-no! Make sure your wipers function properly and your fluid is always full to ensure clear vision when driving. In the case that you need to replace either of those things, do it immediately as to not put you or anyone else in harm’s way.
Always Wear Your Seatbelt
In the event of an accident, seatbelts have been proven to save lives. There’s a reason they’ve been putting them in cars for years and will continue to do so! Aside from the obvious safety purposes, a driver should always wear their seatbelt for another important reason: it keeps you in your seat so you can stay in control of the car as much as possible. If you are bouncing around in the car, you’re not able to take advantage of any opportunity to bring the car to a stop or move it safely out of the situation. Buckle up baby!
Remember, the most important thing is to keep you and your family safe while driving during the wet weather months. Cars nowadays are designed to protect you as much as possible in the event of a collision, but we think everyone will agree that it is much better to not be involved in an accident at all. Stay aware and drive safe out there!Have a great tip for driving in wet conditions that we didn't mention? We'd love to hear from you! Let us know your tips on our Facebook page!