Driving Safely on Wet Roads
Navigating crowded freeways and windy mountain roads can be hard enough, but add a little water to the mix and things can turn treacherous. With the winter season approaching, South Carolina drivers need to prepare for slick, wet roads and cooler temperatures.
Bad weather has proven to be a major cause of accidents and fatalities for all vehicle occupants. The U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration reports that there are 445,000 injuries and almost 6,000 fatalities due to bad weather each year. In fact, around 22 percent of all vehicle crashes are the result of poor weather. Rain seems to be even more dangerous than snow, with 46 percent of accidents happening when rain is falling and 73 percent occurring on wet pavement. While it is impossible to control other vehicles on the road, there are several things drivers can do to avoid being involved in an accident due to bad weather.
One of the most dangerous situations that can happen during heavy rains is hydroplaning. As a vehicle loses its grip on the road’s surface, the tires spin out of control, making braking and steering difficult, if not impossible. Find out if you have anti-lock brakes and practice the correct braking motion, whether it’s pumping or a hard slam, so that you will be prepared if you begin to slide. Vehicles can hydroplane on even a small amount of water, so it is important to drive carefully when roads are wet, even if it is no longer raining.
The cold season does not just mean plummeting temperatures, it also means shorter days and less sunlight. It is very important to stay visible, especially as the days get shorter and the weather gets wetter. When drivers do not properly use their headlights, they are much less visible to others and risk being hit.
One of the best ways to avoid a collision is to slow down. Not only can this prevent hydroplaning, but also many other accidents related to sliding. Drivers should leave extra space when following another car or passing. They should also begin slowing down sooner before stopping to avoid having to slam on their brakes. Be extra careful around large trucks since they will already need more time to stop than smaller passenger vehicles.
Safe Driving on wet roads is possible, but it requires drivers to slow down and pay attention to the vehicles around them. By taking your time, you can avoid accidents and stay safe during the winter season and beyond.