On the road, drivers should always have their full attention focused on the vehicles, objects and pedestrians around them. Staying alert helps to prevent accidents and injuries that can seriously devastate the life of an individual. Unfortunately many drivers don’t pay attention when the weather turns bad and don’t change the way they drive to account for wet or slippery roads. This can put the danger outside of your control, but as a driver, you can drive defensively and avoid injury or even death with the following tips.
The worst time to worry about the condition of your tires is when you are in the middle of a rain or snowstorm. Check your tires routinely before you get behind the wheel. Make sure they are inflated properly, have them rotated every 6,000 to 7,000 miles, and check the depth of the tread. Safe tires can help to control skids when the roads are wet and icy.
Stay away from cruise control
Cruise control is an amazing tool when you want to maintain your speed and are driving long distances, but this feature should always be turned off when the roads are wet. Cruise control allows your focus to wander and it’s easier to become distracted. In order to slow down, you may also need to remove your foot from the accelerator, and doing so will not reduce your speed if cruise control is engaged.
Safely handle hydroplaning
When it rains and water collects on the road, your car is at an increased risk of hydroplaning. As the water builds up, there is a barrier between the road and your tires, and it can cause you to skid across the moisture as your tires can’t gain traction. If you start to hydroplane, there are a few steps to follow:
- Take your foot off the gas
- Do not break hard, but lightly apply the brakes
- Maintain a strong hold on the steering wheel and keep it in place
- Let the car slow down on its own if your car is a manual transmission; simply push the clutch in
Hydroplaning is a common problem when water gathers on the road and can cause you to completely lose control of your car, causing accidents on busy roadways.
Perhaps the most important thing you can do when the roads are wet and the weather is bad for driving conditions is to slow down. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination and leave extra room between you and other cars.
Driving safely when the roads are wet can save lives, but at times you are not at fault and may be the victim of another’s careless driving. If this is the case, an attorney may be able to answer questions you have about receiving compensation for a personal injury caused by a careless driver.