Did you now wet pavement contributes to over one million traffic accidents each year? Severe weather resulting in heavy rain and strong wind can happen any time and requires caution and attention. If you can't get off the road and wait out the storm in sturdy building, you can take steps to be safe while driving.
- Be Visible – turn on your headlights! Use your low-beam headlights while driving in rain and storms. Also check your tail light, brake lights, and turn signals to make sure they work. Having all your lights working keeps you and those around you aware of movements.
- Vehicle Maintenance – keep up with basic maintenance. Check and replace your windshield wipers, especially if they leave streaks. Check your tires for proper inflation and tread wear. If your tread looks worn or thin, have them checked out.
- Slow Down – to avoid losing control of your vehicle. This lessens the likelihood of hydroplaning. Slower speeds help your tires keep in contact with the road instead of skating on a layer of water. Turn off cruise control to help keep better control of your speed in uncertain conditions.
- Leave Room – creating more space between you and the next vehicle give s you more time and distance to respond to changing conditions in traffic. It also helps prevent sudden braking or swerving.
- Control Skids – if your vehicle does skid – DON'T PANIC! Look in the direction you want your vehicle to go and gently steer in that direction. Avoid hitting the brakes or turning the wheel hard or quickly to maintain control.
- Avoid Distractions – Don't talk or text on your phone while driving in weather. Concentrate on the road. Keep the radio on a local broadcast channel and volume down. That way you can get information on the weather/road conditions without it being overwhelming.
- Be Weather Aware – wind gusts can move any vehicle into another lane or shoulder without warning. Keep both hands firmly on the steering wheel and be conscious of vehicles around you.
Wind and rain are common hazards, and it's easy to forget to exercise caution when driving. Take extra time and slow down when weather strikes. If you see water across the road, remember – Turn Around. Don't Drown. Pull into a parking lot or onto the side of the road if you need to or just stay indoors until the weather passes.