Hurricane Sandy left many of us in Northeast Ohio surprised and without power and heat. The wet and windy conditions may have left some drivers stranded on the side of the road, while others may have been forced to drive to stay with family and friends. There are many things you can do to prepare yourself for wet driving conditions, but because Sandy took us by such surprise, what can we do while we find ourselves behind the wheel during rainy conditions?
First and foremost, if you can avoid driving and stay inside, always do so. If you must go out, remember the following tips to avoid hydroplaning, accidents, and car damage:
• Slow down & take your time. It is always better to slow down and arrive at your destination a few minutes late than to get in an accident.
• Brake earlier & less aggressively. Don’t wait to brake and don’t step on the pedal hard. Give your vehicle time to slow down on wet roads.
• Turn on your headlights. This way you can see…and be seen!
• Keep extra distance between the driver in front of you. This gives you more reaction time in case of hydroplaning, sudden stops, or accidents.
• Use your tools. Turn on fog lights. Use a defroster to de-fog your windows and use your windshield wipers. Stay alert to down power lines & wires. Never drive across fallen power lines.
• Do not cross running water or deep puddles. Find a different route or drive around puddles. If you must cross a puddle, make sure to tap lightly on your brakes afterward to allow water to escape from the rotors.
• If you hydroplane… do not step aggressively on the brakes or turn the wheel. This could cause you to spin. Instead, remove your foot from the gas pedal and hold the steering wheel straight until your tires regain traction.
• Do NOT use Cruise Control. If you hydroplane, the acceleration can cause the vehicle to spin out and get into an accident.
Our hearts and prayers go out to all of those affected by Hurricane Sandy here at home in Ohio and on the East Coast. We hope these wet weather driving tips will help you arrive at all your destinations safely!