Living in Texas, we’re accustomed too the spontaneous thunderstorm here and there. We can go long periods of time with no rain and then…BAM! Flash Flood warnings are being broadcast on every radio and TV station. It’s great that we get the rain, but a fresh downpour on a baked roadway is a recipe for disaster.
“Really, Ozzie?”, you might ask. Yes. Absolutely! One thing that many people forget is that when it hasn’t rained in a while, grim and grit builds up on the asphalt. Oils and other residue accumulates on the roadways making them precariously slippery. How slippery?
While it is impossible to completely eliminate the risks of driving on wet roads, it is entirely possible to reduce the factors that lead to accidents. Here are some methods to reduce those risks.
- Speed. Make sure that you do not drive too fast for the conditions. Never drive faster than you feel comfortable and if you feel the need, slow down. It is better to drive slowly and safely than fast and reckless. When driving at night, follow the old bit of advice to not outrun your headlights. This should give you plenty of time to react if you see other vehicles trying to stop suddenly or if you see something in the road that needs to be avoided. If at all possible, avoid trying to pass other vehicles.
- Tires. Improperly inflated tires, while adversely affect your gas mileage, is also going to affect your vehicle’s handling. To keep this from happening, you should make sure that you maintain the proper air pressure, as recommended by the manufacturer. Do this by checking your tire pressure on a regular basis.
- Wipers. Keep your windshield wipers in good working order. If the motor doesn’t work, then you need to get it fixed. Also, be sure that you check the condition of the wiper blades themselves. If they are old and brittle, chipped, or damaged in any way, then they should be replaced at the first available opportunity. If you don’t change them, you will have a streaky window which is difficult to see out of.
- Follow. When following other vehicles in traffic, stay in the tire tracks left by the vehicle ahead of you. You’ll get better traction. Keep a minimum of eight seconds between yourself and the vehicle ahead. Avoid, if possible, following any large truck because they typically handle badly in wet conditions and throw up large amounts of water.
- Brakes. When the need to brake, avoid stomping on the brake pedal. If you can see a stop coming, slow down as much as you can by simply taking your foot off the accelerator and allowing your new car to coast to a stop. This reduces the chance of any slipping, sliding, or hydroplaning. If you have an antilock braking system (ABS) on your vehicle, avoid pumping your brakes That is what your ABS is for, and if you try doing it yourself then you are reducing its effectiveness.
If you have any questions or need any assistance with your Buick or GMC, don’t hesitate to contact us at Freeman Grapevine. We understand how some of the roads out there can be treacherous after a rain.