The fall has brought a series of hurricanes to the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico and heavy downpours to Georgia.
Extreme weather calls for extremely careful driving on the interstates and back roads of Georgia. It takes longer to stop and visibility is reduced when roads are slick.
Some simple wet weather driving tips can help to protect you during downpours. Here is some bad weather driving advice, courtesy of AAA.
1 Make Sure Your Tires Meet Standards
Having worn down tires is not only dangerous but it’s illegal. Proper inflation and depth are vital to maintaining traction on wet roads. AAA suggests inserting a quarter upside down in the groove of the tire.
If you can see above Georg Washington’s head, it’s time to get new tires. Check your tires every month. Of course, an inspector will also tell you if you need new tires during the annual state inspection, but you shouldn’t wait a year.
2 Don’t Use Cruise Control
Although most modern cars have cruise control, it’s a mistake to use it in all conditions. When you use cruise control on wet roads, the chance of losing control of your car increases. Lifting your foot off the accelerator and reducing the speed of the car can prevent a loss of traction. This won’t happen when cruise control is engaged.
3 Beware of Hydroplaning
Hydroplaning is the technical term for what happens when your tires are getting more traction on a layer of water on the surface of the road than the road itself.
It’s a very frightening and potentially deadly scenario because your car may slide uncontrollably.
Reducing your speed is a good way to prevent hydroplaning. A mere one-twelfth of an inch of rain on the road and a speed of over 35 miles per hour may cause hydroplaning. If you start to hydroplane, reduce pressure slowly on the accelerator slowly and steer straight until you can again regain control.
4 Reduce Speed and Leave Room
Drivers should reduce their speed proportionate to the amount of water on the surface of the road. Tires need to displace a gallon of water a second to keep the rubber on the road. Even at speeds as low as 35 mph, you can lose control.
Cutting your speed will help you keep your distance from the vehicle in front of you. It takes longer to stop in wet weather and there is a higher chance of being in a rear-ender accident if the car in front of you stops at an intersection or another place.
5 Respond Properly to a Skid
If you feel your vehicle going into a skid, continue to look and steer it in the direction you want to go.
Don’t hit the brakes hard because this will disrupt the balance of the vehicle and make It harder to control. Don’t panic and drive in the direction of the skid, carefully applying the brakes.
Traffic deaths are rising across the United States. Typically, more drivers and passengers are hurt in accidents in wet weather.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car wreck in Georgia, please call the Law Office of Michael West at (404) 913-1529.