AAA: Wet pavement contributes to nearly 1.2 million traffic accidents each year | WWTI
NEW YORK (WWTI) – AAA offers tips for driving safely in the rain, with the area 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 accidents each year.
Hydroplaning can occur with as little as 1/12 of an inch of water on the road as the tires lift off the water film. Even with new tires and speeds as low as 35 miles per hour, the tires can still lose some contact with the pavement.
They advise motorists to never drive in standing water, regardless of the depth. Not only can driving in standing water lead to hydroplaning, but also flood related repairs which 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 wipers that leave streaks or don’t clean the window all at once. Also by checking that all headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals are working properly to remain visible to other drivers in rainy weather.
To reduce the risk of hydroplaning, drivers should slow down, avoid hard braking or sharp turns, and follow in the tracks of the vehicle in front. It is also important that drivers leave enough space between themselves and the car in front of them to avoid accidents.
The AAA also encourages drivers to make sure their tires have the correct tread depth and inflation to maintain good traction on wet roads. Motorists can check the depth of their tread by inserting a quarter upside down in the tire groove. If the area over Washington’s head is visible, they suggest buying new tires that will have more traction. It is important to check the tire pressure of the vehicle at least once a month, especially if there is a change in temperature.
AAA warns drivers not to use cruise control in wet conditions, as this can increase the chance of losing control of the vehicle. Avoiding cruise control will also allow motorists to fully concentrate on all aspects of driving to improve their ability to react to a potential loss of traction situation.
If a driver feels their car is starting to skid, it’s important not to panic, to keep looking and heading in the direction the driver wants the car to go, and to avoid applying the brakes to keep control.
For more tips on how drivers can operate their vehicles safely, visit AAA.