One of the biggest challenges for motorists is driving in constantly changing weather conditions – when road surfaces quickly transition from dry to wet, to areas of standing water, or even to snow and ice. And this week, weather developments in the eastern part of the U.S. make that likelihood very possible.
The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company has advice for those who are faced with venturing out in such conditions.
“Wet-weather driving demands an ability to use all of the basic controls of a vehicle – steering, clutch, brakes, accelerator – along with applying proper judgment and a larger allowance for potential errors and emergencies,”said Garth Ely, Goodyear’s director of brand marketing. “Obviously, the right equipment also plays a part, and that includes anti-lock brakes, traction control systems and good tires with ample tread.”
Goodyear has these tips for driving in wet road conditions:
- Slow down. As rain falls, it mixes with grime and oils on the road surface, creating potential slick conditions that can lead to skids. The best way to avoid skidding is to slow down. Driving at a slower pace allows more of the tire’s tread to make contact with the road, which leads to better traction.
- Check your tires. Always check your tires before driving, including keeping them properly inflated. The correct tire pressure is specified by the vehicle manufacturer and is found on the door post, glove box or fuel door. The number listed on the sidewall of the tire is the maximum pressure, not the recommended pressure. And check the tires’ tread depth, as proper tread depth will also assist in helping to maintain contact with the road surface.
- Keep your distance. Because more distance is typically required when braking on wet and slippery surfaces, it is important not to follow other vehicles too closely. Be sure that your vehicle’s headlights, rear lights, brake lights and turn indicators are working, too.
- Know when to stop driving. If the rain or other inclement weather becomes too severe, it may be best to simply pull over to a safe location and stop driving. Heavy rain can overload the wiper blades, allowing an almost continuous sheet of water to flow over the windshield. When visibility is so limited that the edges of the road or other vehicles cannot be seen at a safe distance, it is time to consider taking a break from driving.
- Remember your own shoes. As your tires work outside the car to grip the road surface during wet and sloppy conditions, remember that the grip of your footwear inside the car is also important. Be careful of wet floor mats or wet soles on shoes or boots, as this can cause a driver’s feet to slip on pedals.
Whether faced with driving in hurricane-like conditions, or in a common drizzle, Goodyear says it is important for motorists to apply safe practices.
“Equipping your car with a set of superior performing tires, such as Goodyear’s Assurance TripleTred All-Season, can really help in challenging weather conditions,”Ely said. “Tires help make a big difference when the roads are slick, and having optimum traction is a key to confidently driving in ever-changing conditions.”