The rainy season is finally upon us and unfortunately that also means mayhem on Southern California roads but it dopes not have to be that way. We gathered a few tips to stay safe on wet roads and in rainy weather.
Safety starts before you drive, and your goal should be to see and be seen.
Replace windshield wiper inserts that leave streaks or don’t clear the glass in a single swipe.
Make sure all headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals are properly functioning so other drivers will see you during downpours.
Turn on your headlights whenever you drive.
Proper tire tread depth and inflation are imperative to maintaining good traction on wet roadways. Check tread depth with a quarter inserted upside down into the tire groove. If you can see above Washington’s head, start shopping for new tires.
Check each tire’s pressure, including the spare, at least once a month… and be sure to check the pressure when the tires are cold.
Do Not Use Cruise Control
Cruise control works great in dry conditions, but when used in wet conditions, the chance of losing control of the vehicle can increase.
To prevent loss of traction, the driver may need to reduce the car’s speed by lifting off the accelerator, which cannot be accomplished when cruise control is engaged.
Avoiding cruise control gives the driver more options when responding to a potential loss-of-traction situation and increases safety.
Slowing down during wet weather driving is critical to reducing the risks of hydroplaning.
To reduce chances of hydroplaning, drivers should slow down, avoid hard braking or turning sharply and drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you.
Increase Safety Distance
It’s important to allow ample stopping distance between cars by increasing the following distance of the vehicle in front of them and beginning to slow down to stop for intersections, turns and other traffic early.
If You Skid
Even careful drivers can experience skids. If you feels your car skidding, do not panic and follow these basic steps:
Continue to look and steer in the direction in which you want the car to go.
Avoid slamming on the brakes, this will make things worse and make it harder to control he car
Pay attention to barricades.
Don't ignore them they are there for a reason. Stay safe, look for an alternate route.
Do not drive through standing water on roads or in parking lots.
The average automobile can be swept off the road in 12 inches of moving water, and roads covered by water are prone to collapse. Driving through water also may stall your engine, worse, damage it if water gets through the air filter and in the chambers. if you stall, do not try to restart the engine.
Take extra precautions if you're forced to drive through water.
If no alternate route exists and you have no other reasonable alternative but to drive through standing water.
Do your best to estimate the depth of the water (if other cars are driving through, take note of how deep the water is).
Drive slowly and steadily through the water.
Avoid driving in water that downed electrical or power lines have fallen in
Watch for items traveling downstream — they can trap or crush you if you're in their path.
If you have driven through water up to the wheel rims or higher, test your brakes on a clear patch of road at low speed. If they are wet and not stopping the vehicle as they should, dry them by pressing gently on the brake pedal with your left foot while maintaining speed with your right foot.
Stay off the telephone unless you must report severe injuries.
If you become trapped in rising water, immediately abandon your vehicle for higher ground. Try to open the door or roll down the window to get out of the vehicle. If you are unable to get out safely, call 911 or get the attention of a passerby or someone standing on higher ground so that they may call for help.