Summer is officially over, and rainy weather has begun to hit the Hudson Valley. Now is a good time to make sure your car is in shape for winter weather, and to refresh yourself on safe driving in precipitation. Did you know that 1.2 million crashes each year occur during rainy weather? Below are some tips on driving in the rain, so that you can avoid being the cause of a wet weather crash.
- Check your tires: When the roads get wetter, it becomes more important than ever that your tires are in good shape. Proper tread depth ensures that the tires have good traction on wet roads and water can drain away under your tire, rather than the tire skidding on top of standing water. Also be sure to test tire pressure, and be sure to do so when the tires are cold.
- Keep your distance: When driving, we tend to enter “auto pilot” mode and fall into our normal habits. While it may not normally be unsafe to drive the speed limit or remain close (but not too close) to the car in front of you, those behaviors can become extremely dangerous when there’s water on the road. Even when there’s only ½ inch of water on the road, your tires need to displace a gallon of water a second in order to stay in contact with the road. As the amount of water on the road increases, slow down your speed accordingly. Allowing more distance between yourself and the cars in front of you will also allow you more time to come to a gradual stop, rather than having to slam on your breaks, which can result in your car hydroplaning.
- Handle skids carefully: Should your car begin skidding, it’s important that you not immediately slam on the brakes. This will make your car even harder to get back under control. Instead, look and steer as much as possible in the direction that you want to go, and gently apply the brakes. Any sharp turns or abrupt movements will only serve to prolong the skid.
If you have been in a Hudson Valley car accident where another driver wasn’t quite so conscientious about driving in wet weather, contact the Kingston personal injury and car crash attorneys at Basch & Keegan for a free consultation, at (845) 403-7813.