As the rain continues to fall in Texas, wet weather driving tips seemed timely. Although not all car accidents can be avoided, most can be prevented by taking the proper precautions in advance.
Check your tires – this is not the time to be driving on bald tires
Following routine maintenance can help decrease your risk of having an accident in wet weather:
- Check your tire's air pressure at least once a month to ensure proper tire inflation.
- Rotate your tires at least every 6,000 - 7,000 miles.
- Check the tires tread depth. Tires should have 4/32-inch tread depth to perform the in the way for which they were designed. Proper tread depth will help prevent skids and hydroplaning.
Steer into a skid and don’t slam on the brakes
Slamming on your brakes during a skid can reduce your control over the vehicle. Instead, regain control by steering in the direction of the skid while pumping your brakes to gradually reduce speed. Do not pump anti-lock breaks, instead apply steady pressure.
Steer straight into a hydroplane and reduce speed
If you feel the car starting to hydroplane, release the gas pedal slowly and steer straight until the car regains traction. Apply light pressure to the brakes if you must. You can reduce the risk of hydroplaning by following the "tracks" made by the vehicle in front of you. Also, driving in a middle lane may help as water is pushed to the outer lanes by other vehicles.
Don’t drive in or use caution when crossing running water
Flowing water can quickly move your car, even an SUV. We have all seen plenty of videos online of SUV’s swept away in moving water. Choose a different route. If you cannot see the bottom of the running water or puddle, you also cannot see what is below the surface. You may find yourself stuck in an open manhole or large pothole.
Turn on your lights -make yourself more visible to other traffic
Even if you don't need them to see the road, your headlights will make your vehicle more noticeable to other drivers. When your wipers are on, your headlights should also be on.
Keep your distance – this is not the time for tailgating
Tailgating is never a good idea, especially not in wet weather. It can take up to three times the distance usually required to stop your car when road surfaces are wet. Also, use caution when approaching trucks and buses, as the spray created by their tires can cover your windshield and block your view.
It takes longer to stop in wet weather. Speeding increases the risks. Brake earlier and more gradually than you would normally.
By being aware of the road conditions, reducing speed and preparing for challenging situations can reduce the likelihood of a wet weather car accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a Houston area wet weather car accident, Chelsie King Garza is ready and able to help.