While expected, summer afternoon showers can do more than place a damper on the day. Rain increases the chances of a serious motor vehicle accident and places drivers at risk.
Fortunately, drivers can take steps to decrease their chances of an accident. Do you know how to safely navigate wet roadways?
Steps Kentucky drivers can take to increase safety
While the safest practice is to avoid driving during a rainstorm, this is not always possible. Before you get behind the wheel, learn what five actions may help prevent a serious car accident:
- Prepare your car for inclement weather.Check your tires for worn treads. If your tires are old, they will not provide adequate traction on the wet surface. You should also check your windshield wipers to ensure that they adequately clear the windshield of water. They may need to be replaced if they leave streaks of water behind.
- Take the car off cruise control.Cruise control ensures that your car travels at a constant speed. This can be very dangerous on a rainy day and increases a car’s chances of hydroplaning. Manually control your car throughout the drive.
- Always turn your headlights on.Overcast conditions and rain decrease visibility. Your headlights make it easier for other cars to see you, and for you to see the road. If strong storms impair visibility too much, find an area to safety park until the worst of the storm passes.
- Decrease your speed.Car tires have a difficult time gaining traction on wet surfaces, and the tires’ grip worsens the faster a car is moving. Slow down to prevent losing control of the car. This will increase the surface area of your tires that maintain contact with the road. It also gives you a longer reaction time to adjust to unforeseen conditions.
- Increase your following distance.Braking distances increase on wet roads. To accommodate this, leave more space between you and other drivers. You should also begin braking sooner and more gradually for stop signs and red lights.
AAA reports that wet roads factor into approximately 1.2 million car accidents each year. While many accidents are unavoidable, some could be prevented if drivers followed safer driving practices. Be careful this summer, and protect your well-being by committing to safe driving practices. You may not be able to control other drivers, but you can take actions to continuously improve your own driving habits.