Driving Through Showers
April showers bring May flowers, but they can also create havoc on the road. As we cruise into spring, wet and slippery roads present a new set of safe driving challenges. Heavy rain such as storms that hit Medford, NJ (near the CollisionMax of Marlton auto body shop) can cause hydroplaning and skidding, and severe storms can make it difficult to see and be seen. Car makers design and engineer vehicles for optimal performance on dry roads, so keep these simple tips in mind to ensure a safe ride to your destination on a wet, stormy day.
Before You Drive
Check the condition of your vehicle. Wiper blades should be replaced once a year and Spring is a good time to do it. Brittle, damaged or worn blades will not clear rain from your windshield efficiently. Check your tire pressure and treads. Worn treads give little resistance to skidding and hydroplaning — and you could find yourself driving on top of the water like a JetSki rather than through it. Always make sure your brakes are in good condition.
Not So Fast
Wet road conditions require extra time to brake —so slow down! Brake earlier and with less force than you would on a dry road.
Turn your headlights on to better see the road in a driving rain. This also lets other drivers know you are there. Don’t drive through puddles if you can’t gauge their depth. That puddle could be covering a nasty pothole or ghastly chasm, just waiting to take out your tire or short circuit your car’s electrical system. (This even applies to intrepid SUV drivers.)
•Avoid the outer lanes where water may build up. Stay inthe center lanes.
•Keep a safe distance from trucks and buses. They can splash a significant amount of water onto your windshield and impede your vision.
•Severe rain can overload your windshield wipers and create a seemingly continuous sheet of water on your windshield. If this happens, pull over and wait the storm out.
•Never use your vehicle’s cruise control in the rain.