Welp, it’s officially hurricane season and for our region that means lots and lots of rain! While rain may be good for our gardens, it can be a real nuisance to travel in. Like snow and fog, rain greatly reduces visibility, especially at night. Not only that, but roadways can easily become flooded during storms, and pools of water on the road can quickly become hazards to your safety. If you must travel in rainy conditions, it’s important to know what steps you can take to avoid accidents and remain safe.
Hydroplaning is a major cause for concern in rainy weather. Hydroplaning occurs when one of your vehicle tires rides up on a thin surface of water, losing contact with the pavement, which results in you losing control of your vehicle.
To help avoid this very scary situation, here are some steps you can take:1. Slow Down! According to safety experts, hydroplaning is most likely to occur when traveling at speeds above 35 miles per hour. Always reduce your speed when driving on wet roadways and during active storms. A good rule of thumb is to drive at least five to ten miles under the speed limit.
2. Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated. Adequate air pressure in a tire helps ensure that vehicle weight is evenly distributed across the tire’s tread pattern. The helps keep the vehicle stable. Stability is necessary for proper handling and may prove especially important in rainy weather conditions.
3. Rotate and Replace Tires When Necessary. Bald or uneven tire tread can be a real hazard in inclement weather conditions as it reduces tire traction. Best practice is to have your tires rotated, balanced and replaced if needed during your regularly scheduled oil changes.
4. Stay Away from Puddles and Standing Water. Even a small pool of water can cause hydroplaning. If you spot water gathered on the road, common sense would tell you to avoid it by safely changing lanes or maneuvering around it.
5. Never use your Vehicle’s “Cruise Control” feature while Driving in the Rain. If you begin to hydroplane while using cruise control, you will be forced to take additional time disabling the function before you can attempt to regain control of your vehicle.
Happy Driving & Stay Safe Out There!