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Driving in Wet Weather

Heavy rain and flash flooding can create hazardous driving conditions, thereby increasing the likelihood of a wreck.

  • Stay off the roads. If you must drive, be sure your tires and brakes are in good working condition.
  • Allow yourself more time to get where you're going. Drive at least 5 to 10 mph slower than the speed limit on wet pavement.
  • Stay alert and be ready for sudden stops. Allow at least twice the normal following distance between vehicles.
  • Signal for turns and brake earlier than usual as you near a turn or stop.
  • Be patient and do not pass lines of traffic.
  • Turn on your headlights, as required by North Carolina law, while using your windshield wipers – regardless of the time of day.
  • Turn on your low-beam headlights and use the defroster to increase visibility – regardless of whether it is day or night. High beams, or "brights," could reflect off the fog and decrease visibility.
  • Avoid driving through pools of standing water – even if they seem shallow. Water could be covering road hazards, such as holes, fallen power lines or debris.
  • Also, avoid flooded areas. A foot of water, for example, can cause vehicles to float, while 2 feet of rushing water can carry away vehicles, including SUVs and pick-up trucks.
  • If your vehicle begins to hydroplane – when your tires glide across the surface of the water on a road – take your foot off the gas and apply the brakes in a steady, slightly firm manner (don't stomp on them). Then steer in the direction of the skid.
  • For manual transmissions, push in the clutch and let the vehicle slow down on its own.
  • For automatic transmissions, hold the steering wheel steady and lightly apply the brakes.
  • For vehicles with anti-lock brakes, apply more steady pressure to the brakes, but avoid pumping them.

7/10/2018 10:19 AM

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