Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Safe Driving in Rainy Weather

It’s raining! Use extra caution when the road is wet.

What’s so different about driving in rainy weather?  our vehicle won’t stop or steer the same as on a dry surface. Visibility is hampered by rain and windshields often get smeared, so wipers must be in good repair. How are your windshield wipers? Did you check them today?

Drivers are different, too. They often hurry and are likely to be tense and worried about the possibility of road conditions becoming worse. Driving at a reduced speed is necessary.

Stopping distances are increased on wet or slippery surfaces. A three or four  second following distance should be observed. Plan your stops. Slow down and signal well in advance and be ready for sudden slowing of traffic.

Be prepared to encounter large puddles of standing water that could cause you to momentarily lose control of your car. If the brakes get saturated, you may not be able to stop.

Slow down well in advance before you reach curves or turns in the road.  Cornering too fast on slippery roads may cause rear tires to lose traction and your vehicle may fishtail.

Be aware of the defensive action to take if you should go into a skid. Here are some types of skids you could have the misfortune of experiencing.

ü  Front brake lock. Front brakes grab hold before the rear ones do. You cannot steer; your vehicle will slide straight ahead.
ü  All-wheel brake lock. Front and rear brakes lock; car slides in any direction. To prevent, ease off the brakes.
ü  Rear brake lock. Rear brakes grab hold before front ones. Car spins in half circle and ends up going backward.
ü  Power slide. You accelerate too much for road conditions; rear swings back and forth. If you can, steer in the direction you want the vehicle to go without sudden application of the brake. The best prevention for this is to start out more slowly.
ü  Hydroplaning. On a wet road, at about 35 mph, wheels begin to lose contact with road. This varies with water depth and condition of tire tread.  Winds or a slight turn can cause a skid.

You can control a skid by taking your foot off the gas and letting the engine slow down. Take your foot off the brake until you can control steering again.  Always turn the steering wheel in the direction you want to go, but gently; don’t over steer.
The best way to prevent an uncontrolled skid is to slow down. If you become involved in an uncontrolled skid, chances are you were driving much too fast. When it's raining --- slow down.
Source: District Safety Office

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