Stay Safe When Driving on Wet or Flooded Roads
AAA reports that nearly 1.2 million car crashes occur each year on wet pavement resulting in 5,700 deaths.
"It's important that drivers heed official warnings and avoid driving on wet roads, and especially flooded roads, if able,” said AAA Carolinas spokesperson Tiffany Wright.
If your vehicle shuts down while in standing water, do not try to restart it. That could cause more water to enter the engine and could cost thousands to repair. Also, if your vehicle stalls in a flooded area it's important for your personal safety to abandon the vehicle; if you stay inside a vehicle in a flood, you could be swept away in floodwaters with your car.
Follow these safety tips for driving on wet roads:
Check Tires: Make sure your tires have enough tread and are properly inflated. Worn tires with little tread are more likely to hydroplane. You can check this by inserting a quarter upside down into a tire groove. If you can see above Washington's head it's time for new tires.
Slow Down and Leave Room: Slowing down can be critical in stopping your car from hydroplaning. Drivers should reduce their speed to correspond to the amount of water on the roadway. Leave ample stopping distance between you and the car in front of you.
Avoid Cruise Control: The feature is great in dry conditions but when used when roads are wet it can cause you to loose control of your vehicle.
Rainy Conditions Can Cause Low Visibility: Turn on your headlights to help you see better and allow motorists to better spot you. Avoid high beams because they may cause more distraction.
Visibility While Driving: If you can't see the edges of the road or other vehicles at a safe distance pull off the road with your emergency hazards on.
Avoid Standing Water and Flooded Roads at All Times: There is no way to tell how deep standing water is on a flooded road. Roads with too much water may flood your engine, warp brake rotors, cause loss of power steering or shorts in electrical components.
Remember these safety tips next time you see flood waters or are driving on wet roads. Using caution can help keep our roads and our motorists safe.