Thursday, April 23, 2015

Being Safe On The Road During Rain

I am sure, like me you too are concerned about keeping your family and yourself safe on the road. State Farm insurance considers this to be important as well, and have created programs to promote child passenger safety, teen driver safety, seat belt safety, and sober and engaged driving. During spring, when the snow is melting and it rains a lot, it creates different road conditions that drivers need to be aware of and learn how to deal with these conditions. Rain is a known to be a common cause for crashes, and it can create chaos on the road for drivers.
It is important all drivers understand that any amount of rain can cause hazardous road conditions. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation/Federal Highway Administration, 17% of people thought that weather related crashes happen during snow or sleet, however in reality 74% of weather-related crashes happen on wet pavement.

Get wet road savvy this spring by:
  • Make sure windshield wiper blades and headlights are working well. Replace blades at least once a year for best results. It’s the law in all states to turn headlights on when visibility is low, and many states also require having the headlights on when the windshield wipers are in use. 
  • Check the rear and brake lights to make sure they are functioning properly, as it will help your vehicle to be seen in rainy weather. 
  • Switch from winter to summer tires, if needed and check tread wear and tire inflation, as it helps with traction.
  • Reduce your speed on wet surfaces and allow a safe following distance. Rain, oil, and dust cause slippery conditions and traction problems on roads. 
  • Turn off cruise control when roads are wet, it is best for the driver to control speed and react to conditions.
  • Paying attention to flood warnings and barricades.
  • Avoid driving through standing water because it is risky, and it is easy to lose control in as little as six inches of water. Deeper, moving water can cause stalling or carry vehicles away.
The Centers for Disease Control report that over half of all flood-related drowning occurs when a vehicle is driven into hazardous floodwater. Hydroplaning, the skidding or sliding of tires on wet surfaces, can happen anytime roads are wet. If your vehicle hydroplanes:
  • Don’t panic.
  • Avoid hard braking and quick turns.
  • Ease off the gas and gently apply the brakes (lightly pump standard brakes, apply consistent pressure if you have ABS).
  • Steer straight ahead or to a safe open area.
  • Vehicle braking and traction control systems vary. Check your vehicle owner’s manual to know your vehicle systems and recommended action. 
If you’re teaching a new driver, be sure to practice driving in an array of weather conditions, including rain, and cover these tips with them. Warmer weather means children, pets and bicycles will be out and about. Take extra caution, especially in residential areas. Teach new teen drivers to scan for these potential hazards.
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