Stay Safe Driving on Wet Roads this Spring & Summer
Wet spring weather can present dangerous road conditions.
While spring showers give the front range a lush and beautiful green landscape filled with flowers, they also cause some serious hazards on the roads. Keeping up with your vehicle’s safety standards and knowing the best safety procedures when driving in the rain is key to staying accident-free during this years rainy season. Follow this guide with our tips on maintaining your vehicle for wet-weather conditions, and to learn how to react when driving during those torrential downpours.
Tip 1: Make Sure your Vehicle is Wet-Weather Safe
While these are always important safety steps to maintain throughout the year, our rainy season often gets forgotten about with so much of our focus on making sure your vehicle is winter-ready. Make sure your vehicle is wet-weather safe by following these simple steps to keep your safe on those wet roads!
Your wiper inserts should wipe away water with ease- if they leave streaks or do not clean your windshield after one swipe they need to be replaced.
heck all of your lights before heading out onto the road. Be sure to double-check that your headlights, brake lights, taillights, and turn signals are all in working order. We recommend checking your 4-way hazard lights as well.
Tire Tread Depth:
The tread depth of your tires are one of the most important factors in wet-weather safety. To test your tread depth, get a quarter and insert it head first into your tire groove. If you can see any space above George Washinton’s head, please stop by your nearest AAMCO Colorado location for assistance.
Tire Pressure & Inflation:
Check that your tires are inflated properly at least once per month. Include your spare tire in this check- you never know when you’ll need it! We recommend also doing this check when the tires are cold for a more accurate reading during colder conditions.
Or feel free to simply bring your vehicle into one of our locations to have the experts at AAMCO make sure your vehicle is safe for driving on those wet roads!
Tip 2: Avoid using your Cruise Control!
While cruise control is a nice feature in most modern vehicles, it becomes a hazard in rainy conditions. Cruise control increases the chance of losing control of the vehicle when the roads are wet.
Often times to keep good traction while slowing down the driver will need to let their foot off of the gas pedal, which is not as easy with cruise enabled. Not to mention cruise control is typically used in a manner which takes a driver’s full attention away from the road.
Our recommendation is to simply avoid it when driving in the rain!
Tip 3: Leave some Extra Room and Drive Slow
The faster you drive on wet roads, the more your chances of hydroplaning increase.
We recommend basing your speeds on how much water is on the roads, and when in doubt you can always slow down! It only takes a 12th of an inch of water for your tires to need to displace a gallon of water per second to maintain proper traction.
Always be aware of other drivers on the road. Your safest bet is to leave some extra room between you and the other vehicles. This provides extra time for slowing or stopping if needed, and drastically reduces your chances of getting into an accident. While this is something everyone typically recommends on the road, it becomes even more important on those rainy days!
An extra hint when driving is to avoid breaking, turning, or accelerating at the same time. Do these things seperatately to maintain the most traction with the road.
Tip 4: Know how to Respond if you Skid or Hydroplane
If you do end up skidding or hydroplaning, it is important to know what to do BEFOREHAND. Even the safest drivers on the road can start to skid or hydroplane- remember these simple steps on how to respond.
- Don’t Panic: Keep calm and continue following the steps.
- Steer in the Direction You Want to Go: Look and steer where you want to go. Moving the steering wheel erratically can make things significantly worse.
- Don’t Slam the Brakes: Avoid slamming your brakes! This throws off your vehicles balance and can cause you to hydroplane even more. If you truly need to slow down only lightly push on the brakes.
Tip 5: Increase Visibility with Windshield Water Repellents
Water repellents can significantly increase your visibility while driving in the rain or snow. In addition, they also to ease removing stubborn ice or bugs from your windshield. While using a repellent is a great idea all year round, these are especially helpful during the rainy spring and early summers here in Colorado. There are a quite a few popular brands out there, or you can try our DIY guide for making your own homemade water repellent spray!
DIY Homemade Window and Windshield Water Repellent Guide *
- Mix a 1:1 Ratio of Rubbing Alcohol and Filtered Water into a Spray Bottle.
- Clean the exteriors of your windows and windshield thoroughly.
- Spray your solution onto the exterior of your windshield and windows.
Voilà! You’re all set. Feel free to test out your new water repelling windshield and windows with a hose or large glass of water to get an idea how well it will work when you’re out in the rain.
* Warning: Avoid using Rubbing Alcohol in poorly ventilated areas, or near an open flame.
Safety Checks at AAMCO Colorado
Keeping you safe on the road is something we pride ourselves on at AAMCO Colorado. If you are concerned that your vehicle may not be wet-weather safe please stop by the nearest AAMCO Colorado service center where can perform a multipoint safety inspection and diagnostic service to ensure you are good to go!
At AAMCO Colorado we offer a wide range of services to help keep you safe on the road – from our free seasonal safety check to regular vehicle maintenance and much more. Trust in AAMCO for all your Total Car Care needs. Feel free to schedule an appointment online today at the location nearest you.