When the April showers come in full force, the roads begin to flood and endanger drivers. Knowing how to conquer those wet roads safely will keep you and other drivers safe.
April showers bring May flowers. This is the phrase that is often heard in the spring as the rain seems to be more plentiful. While this is great for the dead grass and bulbs in the flower beds, it can become dangerous for drivers. Rain often causes more accidents than snow due to the fact that in bad snowstorms, drivers are more inclined to stay home. In the rain, drivers feel like it is just a little water—nothing their vehicle can’t handle.
Depending on your speed, there is always a chance your vehicle can hydroplane, meaning your tires lose traction with the pavement. Tires are meant to grip the pavement, but with too much water, it can be difficult for them to grip the road. This is why it is important to reduce your speed when it is heavily raining.
Moving into the slower lane if need be and letting others pass you is perfectly okay. Go the speed you feel safe at and stay focused on the road. This brings up the topic of using cruise control. Many think that turning to cruise control will increase their safety, but in reality that is a lot more dangerous.
The National Safety Commission (TNSC) cautions that using cruise control could cause one’s car tires to end up losing contact with the road and hydroplane.
If your car does hydroplane, instead of stepping on the brake, it is recommended that one just take their foot off the gas pedal to let their car slow more naturally. You should never apply your brakes until your car has slowed quite a bit, unless your car has anti-lock brakes.
During a rainstorm your vision and perception are already disoriented by the weather; this is not the time to be texting, talking, daydreaming, eating or drinking, or taking your mind off of driving. Someone could easily slam on their brakes, and the rain can dim your ability to see it. If you are paying attention and have increased your following distance behind the vehicle in front of you, braking will be much easier.
Pekin Insurance’s Focus to the Finish campaign is working to educate you about various forms of distracted driving, including bad weather. Driving distracted while going through bad weather will only up your chances for a car accident. Put the distractions away and drive focused on the task at hand so you can get to your destination safely. For more information, check out the Focus to the Finish website for more helpful tips for safe driving.