AAA: Wet weather driving tips

AAA LogoAAA Mid-Atlantic is providing some wet weather driving tips to help keep motorists safe as some roads in the Commonwealth are experiencing some ponding.

  • ·         Turn on windshield wipers and headlights as soon as rain begins to fall. It’s not just common sense; it’s the law in numerous states including Virginia.
  • ·         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 and leave you stranded. Six inches of water on a road can cause drivers to lose control of their vehicles.
  • ·         Try to avoid 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.
  • ·         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.
  • ·         Slow down. Speed limits are set for ideal road conditions. Rain decreases visibility and increases stopping distances.
  • ·         Increase following distances. Normal dry pavement following distances (3 seconds) should be increased to 8 seconds when driving on slippery surfaces.
  • ·         Be a follower. Driving in the tracks of other vehicles can improve traction and help avoid hydroplaning.
  • ·         If visibility is limited and driving feels unsafe, pull over and wait for the rain to let up. If possible, pull into a parking lot or onto a side street where it is safer. Be sure to put on your flashers and pull as far off the road as possible.
  • ·         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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