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Wet Weather Driving Safety: How to Handle Rain, Puddles & Leaves on the Road

Before you hit the road this Fall, make sure you're prepared to handle the potential hazards that come with driving on wet roadways.

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As the seasons change, so do the driving conditions on local roadways, and with Fall in full swing, and Winter not too far away, it's important to be well-versed in the rules of the road when it comes to driving on Wet Roadways. Autumn has its own set of driving safety hazards, most notably wet leaves, which can leave roadways slick as ice. Between the leaves, wetness, and other road hazards, it's important to stay on your game, and drive without distractions during the Fall, when you're more likely to encounter hazardous conditions.

To help ensure that all of your trips this Holiday Season are safe, we've put together some helpful Fall Driving Safety Tips for you:

Inspect Your Vehicle Before You Leave Your Driveway
Before you get in and buckle up, be sure to inspect your car - Make sure your headlights, tail lights, and brake lights are functioning, and check for proper tire pressure, including checking your spare tire. Additionally, you should check your tires on a monthly basis to make sure they've got enough tread, and are safe to drive on. According to AAA, a simple way to do this is to take a quarter, place it upside down in one of the tire grooves, and if you can see above George Washington's head, well, then it's time to bring in your vehicle for new tires.

You should also make sure to check the weather before heading out, and be aware of any potential Weather Alerts, Conditions, or Warnings that may be in effect, or going into effect while you're on the road. Be sure to visit the Weather Center for the latest forecasts, alerts, weather news, and more.

Always Buckle Up
Even the safest driver can have an accident - so when it comes to buckling up, it's better to be safe than sorry. Wet weather and falling leaves can create dangerous road conditions, and even if you take all of the necessary precautions, other drivers may not, so be sure to buckle up, and make sure your passengers wear their seatbelts as well whenever you're hitting the road.

Avoid Hydroplaning
Hydroplaning can be a serious risk when driving on wet roadways. To reduce the risk of hydroplaning, slow down, avoid hard turns and hard breaking. It can also help to drive  in the tracks of the vehicle in front of you - according to AAA, if there is just 1/12 of an inch of water on the road, your car's tires are displacing over one gallon of water per second while driving - don't make them work harder than they have to!

In Traffic: Slow Down & Leave Space Between You and Other Vehicles
Leaving a good amount of buffer room between you and the vehicle in front of you is always a good idea, but when you're driving on wet roadways, it becomes even more vital. Slick roadways can make it harder to come to a full stop, and this extra buffer room can be mean difference between a safe trip home and rear-ending someone.

Reacting To & Recovering from Skidding
Even seasoned drivers who follow the rules of the road can sometimes skid when driving conditions are less than ideal. In order to avoid skidding, and to correct skidding if it occurs. Here is how you'll want to handle skidding this Fall:

  • Don't Panic. Staying calm, cool, and collected will help ensure you make a good decision, rather  than a knee-jerk reaction.
  • Do Not Slam on Your Breaks. This will make your vehicle harder to control, and could potentially cause you to skid even more, or spin out.
  • Continue to Steer Your Car the Direction You Want it To Go. This well help get your vehicle back on track, so you can avoid further skidding, and prevent a potential accident.

No matter where you're traveling this Autumn & Winter, be sure to drive safely. It's simple - take the proper safety measures before driving, stay alert, keep calm, think before reacting, and always proceed with caution when driving on wet roadways. If you follow these simple tips, your trip will be safer.

Safe Driving!

[Source: AAA.]

Video via AAA's Official YouTube Page. Photo by Michal Zacharzewski, via Free Images.