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TIRES 101: Driving On Wet Roads

TIRES 101: Driving On Wet Roads

Driving in the rain is much different than driving in dry conditions. Wet roads can be dangerous, in fact, thousands of car accidents each year are caused by wet driving conditions.

Check Your Tires

It is a good idea to check your tires before you hit the road. To ensure your tires are working at their best, make sure you do the following routine maintenance:

    • Proper Inflation. The correct air pressure for your tires is specified by the vehicle manufacturer and can usually be found on the vehicle door edge, door post, glove box door or fuel door. It is also listed in the owner’s manual. The number listed on the sidewall of the tire is NOT the recommended air pressure for your tire – it is the maximum air pressure for the tire. Check your tire pressures at least once a month using a good quality air pressure guage.

    • Check Tread Depth. Tires should have 1/16 tread depth in order to perform the way there were designed. Proper tread depth will help prevent skids and hydroplaning.

    • Rotate Tires Every 6,000-7,000 Miles. This will aid in detecting alignment problems, help prevent irregular wear and assist in maximizing overall mileage from the tires. Reduce Your Speed



When rain falls, it mixes with dirt and oil on the road creating a slick surface and ideal conditions for skids. The best way to avoid skidding is to reduce your speed. Driving at a slower pace allows more of the tire’s tread to make contact with the road, which leads to better traction.



Recover From a Skid

Skids can happen to the most cautious drivers. If your car does go into a skid, remember not to slam on the brakes and don’t pump the brakes if you have an anti-lock braking system (ABS). Instead, apply pressure to the brakes in a firm manner and steer the car in the direction of the skid.



Maintain a Safe Distance

It takes three times longer to stop on wet roads than on dry. Since more distance is required, it is important not to tailgate. Keep more than two car lengths between you and the vehicle in front of you.



Hydroplaning

When it rains, water creates a barrier between the road and your tires. The liquid film that forms can cause you to lose traction and glide, or hydroplane, across the water’s surface. If this happens, do not brake. It is better to take your foot off the gas, hold the steering wheel in place and lightly apply the brakes. If you have a manual transmission, push in the clutch pedal and let the car slow down on its own.

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