OKLAHOMA CITY - According to AAA, wet pavement contributes to nearly 1.2 million traffic crashes each year.
AAA says safety starts before you drive; replace windshield wiper inserts, make sure all headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals are properly functioning.
But, if you get caught driving in the rain, here are some tips you should follow:
Avoid Cruise Control
- Cruise control works in dry conditions, but when used in wet conditions, the chance of losing control of your vehicle increases. You are able to reduce the car's speed by lifting off the accelerator to prevent loss of traction but cannot do so when cruise control is engaged.
Slow Down and Leave Room
- Slowing down on wets roads can be critical to reducing your chance of hydroplaning. AAA says "with as little as 1/12 inch of water on the road, tires have to displace a gallon of water per second to keep the rubber meeting the road."
- Avoid hard braking or turning sharply and drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you.
- Allow ample stopping distance between cars by increasing the following distance of the vehicle in front of you.
- If you're approaching a stop sign or intersection, slow down early.
Responding to a Skid
- If you feel your car beginning to skid, don't panic.
- Continue to look and steer in the direction in which you want the vehicle to go.
- Avoid slamming on the brakes as this will further upset the vehicle's balance and make it harder to control.
Overall, be cautious when driving on wet roads. Slow down, avoid hard braking and sharp turns and give a healthy amount of stopping distance between you and the cars in front of you.
Turn around, don't drown.