AAA tips for driving on wet roadways

aaaThis week’s rainy forecast and resulting wet roadways are and will continue to create dangers for motorists.

AAA offers the following safety tips for drivers.

  • Do not attempt to cross any standing or moving water that looks more than a few inches deep:  It doesn’t take much water to cause a car’s engine to stall, leaving motorists stranded.  As little as six inches of water on a road can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles.
  • Slow down/ Avoid Hydroplaning:  Hydroplaning occurs as  speed increases and water between the tires and the road builds up to the point that car tires begin to ride on a thin film of water. Even with adequate tire tread, hydroplaning can occur at speeds as low as 30 mph. Usually,  a driver has little warning that a critical speed has been reached until a slight turn or curve causes a skid.
  • Don’t be SUV Overconfident: Drivers of four-wheel drive vehicles must remember that they are not immune from hydroplaning on wet surfaces. SUVs are just as likely to lose traction as any other vehicle.
  • Be a follower: Driving in the tracks of other vehicles can improve traction and help avoid hydroplaning.
  • Triple following distances:  Rain decreases visibility and increases needed stopping distances. Normal dry pavement following distances (2-3 seconds) should be increased to 8 seconds when driving on slippery surfaces.
  • Avoid Common High Water Areas: Stay away from bridges and roads that are known to flood. If the roadway has been flooded, take a detour – floodwaters can be deceptively strong. Nearly half of all people who die in flash floods are in cars and have underestimated the power of flood waters or have not acted fast enough to escape.
  • Be prepared. Carry a cell phone and make sure it is charged. Have the telephone numbers of family and friends handy to call for help if necessary. AAA members can dial 1-800-AAA-HELP for emergency road service.

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