skidding out


Driving In The Rain? Follow These Safety Tips!

rain driving

Although us New Englanders are used to driving in the wettest, slickest, and foggiest conditions, we can always use a quick reminder on how to safely drive in the rain.  The most important things to remember are making sure you are visible to other drivers and that you yourself can see.  These tips will keep you safe and are great to share with friends, family, and co workers!

  • First, make sure that your vehicle is rain ready.  Make sure that your wind shield wipers are securely attached and not bent or deteriorating, after a rough winter like the one we just had, it may be a good idea to replace your wipers.  You should also check and be sure that all lights are working, especially your headlights, brake lights, and turn signals, as it is extremely important to remain visible to other drivers.  As soon as you get in your car, turning on the headlights should be the first thing you do if it is raining.
  • You should also check your tires before driving in the rain, make sure they have enough tread and aren’t bald.  Bald tires can not grip the ground or create traction which makes it much easier to hydroplane.
  • Did you know that hydroplaning can occur at only 30 MPH?  Slow down!  Driving in the rain is dangerous enough without speeding, it may even be smart to go slower than the posted limit, depending on the severity of the weather.   
  • Keep your distance from other cars, especially large trucks since they can splash up some major water and mud that can make visibility even worse.  It’s also a good idea to keep about three car lengths between you and the car in front of you while driving.  Stopping takes longer when it is raining, and if the roads are slick it can be even more difficult to stop in time, and if you rear end someone you are technically at fault!
  • Try and avoid driving through large puddles, the water can cause some hefty damage to the brakes or electrical systems in cars.  If you do happen to go through a large puddle, test your brakes once you are through just to be sure they are working properly.  If you find your brakes are not working, they are likely too wet to function and the only way to dry them out quickly is by lightly tapping on them repeatedly to generate heat and dry them.
  • If you find your windows fogging up, turn on the defroster to clear off the windows.
  • If you follow these tips you should be able to safely get to and from your destination in the rain, however accidents happen.  If you do find yourself skidding out when it’s raining, take your foot off the gas and steer in the direction you want to go.  If you have a car with anti-lock brakes, hit them firmly while steering the car where you want to go, if your car does not have anti-lock brakes, do not use the brakes.
  • Always remember, if it is raining so hard that you can’t see, pull over!  It’s better to wait the rain out than to endanger yourself or other drivers.

There you have it!  Now you can head out into the rain a little more prepared than you were before, and can share these important safety tips with other drivers!

Photo By: faungg

Winter Driving Tips

snow driving

Whether you’re excited for the snow or not, it’s important to be sure you are staying safe!  Keep these tips in mind when venturing out into the snow this winter, for many of you these tips are refreshers but it’s always good to have a reminder to stay safe!

  • If you must venture out onto icy or snowy roads, wait until after the sand trucks and plows have gone by.  They should be able to break down the worst of the snow and will make it much easier for you in the long run.  Even if you have to wait a while for them to service your street, trying to drive on roads that have not been plowed or sanded is not only dangerous, but will take much longer anyways so staying inside until the plows and sanding trucks have gone by is worth the wait.
  • If you are on the road with plows and sanding trucks, DO NOT try to pass them.  Many of them have limited visibility, especially if it is snowing out.  Even though they are pretty slow, the plus side to being behind one of these trucks is that the road will be freshly plowed or sanded and that much easier to navigate.
  • Give yourself extra time to arrive at your destination, there is no doubt that the snow or ice on the road will slow you down or create traffic, so be sure to leave with plenty of time to spare.
  • Decrease your speed and leave more than enough room between yourself and the car in front of you in case you have to stop.  You don’t want to skid out on  ice and rear end the person in front of you, an accident in which you would be at fault!
  • Ride the brake when driving in snow or ice, it will help you avoid skidding out and will keep you at a safe speed!  If you do start to skid out or your wheels lock up, slowly ease up on the brake until you come to a stop.
  • If there is any type of precipitation, make sure that your lights are on.  Even if it is still light out,  rain or snow can limit visibility for many drivers so you want to make every effort to remain visible on the road.
  • If you know in advance that it’s going to snow, be sure that your windshield wipers are working properly, you don’t want to get caught in the middle of a storm with a malfunctioning wiper blade!
  • Make sure you have an ice scraper in your car!  You don’t want to get stuck waiting inside your car while the defroster melts the ice on your windows.
  • Be extra careful on bridges and overpasses, these tend to freeze first and even though there may not be any ice on other parts of the road, these areas are notorious for black ice so reduce your speed and remain aware when traveling over these.
  • If your vehicle has four-wheel drive, use it!  It may use up more gas but will make your commute through the snow much easier and will provide more traction and decrease your chances of skidding out.

The most important piece of advice we can offer is to stay indoors!  Don’t drive on roads that are snowy and icy unless you absolutely must, and if you do then make sure that you are properly insured and know who to call should anything happen!  If you have any questions or would like a quick quote give us a call at MassDrive!  Our agents would be happy to answer any and all questions you may have and will make every effort to get you the lowest premium possible!

Special thanks to weather.com for many of these tips!

Photo By: Ruthanne Reid

 

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