NEW YORK (WWTI) — AAA is offering tips for safe driving in the rain with the region experiencing heavy rain this summer.
According to AAA these downpours create standing water that can be dangerous, with wet pavement contributing to nearly 1.2 million traffic crashes every year.
Hydroplaning can occur with as little as 1/12 inch of water on the road when the tires rise up on the film of water. Even with brand new tires and speeds as low as 35 miles per hour tires can still lose some contact with the roadway.
They advise that motorists never drive through standing water regardless of depth. Not only can driving through standing water risk hydroplaning, but also flooding repairs that can cost thousands of dollars and may not be covered by auto insurance.
AAA suggests preparing for these weather conditions before even getting behind the wheel by replacing windshield wipers that leave streaks or do not clear the glass in a single swipe. Also by checking that all headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals are functioning properly to remain visible to other drivers during rainy weather.
To reduce chances of hydroplaning drivers should slow down, avoid hard braking or turning sharply, and drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead. It is also important that drivers leave ample space between themselves and the car in front of them to avoid accidents.
AAA also encourages drivers to ensure their tires have the proper tread depth and inflation in order to maintain good traction on wet roadways. Motorists can check their tread depth by inserting a quarter upside down into the tire groove. If the area above Washington’s head is visible they suggest purchasing new tires that will have more traction. It is important to check the vehicle’s tire pressure at least once a month, especially with changing temperatures.
AAA warns drivers to not use cruise control in wet conditions because it can increase the chances of losing control of the vehicle. Avoiding cruise control will also ensure motorists fully concentrate on every aspect of driving in order to improve their ability to respond to a potential loss of traction situation.
If a driver does feel their car begin to skid it is important to not panic, continue to look and steer in the direction the driver wants the car to go, and avoid slamming on the brakes to maintain control.
For more tips on how drivers can safely operate their vehicle visit AAA.