The showers of April replenish the air, rejuvenate gardens and forests and contribute to an atmosphere of pleasant awakening. However, they also make D.C. and Maryland roadways more hazardous, increasing the likelihood of injury crashes. According to AAA, wet weather plays a role in 1.2 million traffic accidents every year. Here are some guidelines to help you stay safe in rainy driving conditions.
Keep Your Car Functioning Optimally
Since downpours can occur without warning, periodically inspect your car parts to ensure they function appropriately for the kinds of driving you do. You need proper tire inflation and tread to get adequate traction on wet roads; check these systems at least once a month. Test your headlights, brake lights, taillights and turn signals to determine whether they are in good working order. Replace your windshield wipers once they start leaving streaks.
Wet weather always poses a danger of hydroplaning. To reduce the risk, slow down, and allow a greater stopping distance to the car in front of you. Avoid sharp turning and hard braking. Per this useful article from Discovery, “There are lots of factors at play in whether a car hydroplanes or doesn’t. NASA has developed an equation that predicts when a hydroplane will happen — after all, aircraft have tires just like cars do. NASA’s equation relates to tire pressure and speed, but other factors play a part as well. The size and shape of the tread and the water depth are involved, as are the smoothness of the road surface and whether it’s grooved to help divert water. The biggest factor is speed. The faster the tires roll, the less time water has to get out of the way. This is why the most common piece of advice for recovering from a hydroplane is to take your foot off the gas. But don’t try to slow down by braking — you could lock your tires and make the skid worse.”
Don’t Use Cruise Control
Save this feature for dry weather conditions, because it will raise your chances of losing control over your vehicle. Driving in wet conditions necessitates full concentration. Avoiding cruise control will enable you to respond better to slippery roads and make adjustments when needed.
Respond Correctly to a Skid
When you feel your car beginning to skid, stay calm. Don’t slam on the brakes, because this will make it harder to control your vehicle. Just continue to look and steer in the direction you want to go.
For more information on how to drive in this season, see 7 Spring Driving Tips.
Our Washington D.C. personal injury attorneys can help you seek compensation after an accident. Call or email us for a consultation.