Texas is a big state. Yet, regardless of where you reside in the state, chances are you’ve driven through rainy conditions at some point in the past. You’re also likely aware of just how unpredictable the weather here can be, so you’ll probably have to drive through rainy and wet conditions in the near future. Not to rain on your parade, but driving on wet and flooded roadways can be downright hazardous.
Downpours and wet roads are the main cause of thousands of car accidents every year. Some drivers just get in too big of a hurry when driving through the rain. However, many accidents on wet roads are the effect of drivers who do not know how these types of road conditions affect their vehicle. What follows may help you stay safe the next time you drive through wet and rainy conditions.
Check headlights and wipers
Being able to see the road ahead is one of the most important parts of safe driving. Examine your windshield wipers and headlights before hitting the road, and make sure they are working properly. If your wipers are unable to remove water effectively, or your lights don’t work properly, you won’t be able to see the road, which could cause a crash.
Check tire tread depth
Tires are important since they are the only contact between your car and the road surface. If you have worn-down tires, it will increase your odds of hydroplaning. Check the tread on your tires, and make sure the tread depth is adequate. If the tread is minimal, replace your tires as soon as possible.
Avoid heavy braking
While driving on wet roads, avoid braking hard and suddenly. Instead, just take your foot off the accelerator and allow your vehicle to slow down naturally. Most modern vehicles have anti-lock braking systems (ABS), so you don’t need to pump the brake pedal if you suddenly stop. With ABS, fully press the brake pedal, hold it and just let your vehicle do the work.
The best way to stay safe on wet roadways is to just slow down. By reducing your speed, you will decrease the odds of a skid and help to avoid hydroplaning. Hydroplaning can happen with as little as 1/2 inch of water on the road surface. Slowing down will also allow you more time to react or stop if needed.
Help in the aftermath of an accident
You may encounter wet and rainy conditions more often than you realize. It is impossible to control the weather; all you can do is prepare as best you can and use the knowledge you’ve gained to operate your vehicle as safely as possible. Unfortunately, not all drivers are careful or cautious behind the wheel. If you are involved in an accident and suffer injuries, there is help available to aid in your recovery.