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Archive for May, 2015

Tips for Driving Safely in the Rain

They say April showers bring May flowers, but in the Pacific Northwest it sometimes feels like the showers never stop. So how do we drive safely when there are wet conditions on the road?

SmartMotorist.com recommends the following:

  • Slow down. It takes longer to stop in wet weather
  • Stay toward the middle lanes. Water tends to pool to the outside lanes.
  • Increase your following distance. You should be using the “3 second rule” in good weather, so that should be even higher in wet weather.
  • Drive in the tracks of a car ahead of you.
  • Don’t follow large trucks or buses to closely. The spray created by their tires reduces your vision.
  • Take care when passing other vehicles—be more alert and watch for brake lights ahead of you.
  • Avoid using your brakes to slow down, if possible. Take your foot off the accelerator to slow down.
  • Use your headlights in gloomy, foggy, or overcast conditions. Not only do they help you see, they help other drivers see you.
  • Never drive through moving water if you can’t see the ground through it.
  • When driving through a puddle of unknown depth, go slow. Deep water can cause damage to the car’s electrical systems and can cause your car to stall out.
  • Avoid splashing pedestrians.

In addition, you should make sure that your windshield wipers, headlights, tires, brakes, and steering are in good working order.

If you are driving on a wet road and you start to skid or hydroplane, remain calm. Ease your foot off the gas, and carefully steer in the direction of your skid. For cars without anti-lock brakes, avoid holding the brake pedal down. Instead, use a gentle pumping action and steer in the direction of the skid while your foot is off the brake to regain control. For cars with anti-lock brakes, brake firmly as you steer.

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