Florida Roads Dangerous When Wet – Precautions and Tips to Follow

If you have lived in Florida any length of time, you know about those sudden afternoon showers.  The days can be very hot. The roads had been polished and smooth by the oil spots on the road. The rain blends with the oil and rubber-dust deposits and it becomes a recipe for disaster. The intersections can be very dangerous spots where cars stop and start frequently. It takes a while for these areas to be saturated and be washed off the road.

Before you get on the road, here are some precautions to follow in addition to regular auto maintenance:

  1. Check tire tread as well as tire pressure.
  2. Wipers should be replaced at least once a year.
  3. Every car should have a good emergency kit.

While driving in rain, here are some helpful tips to avoid dangerous situations:

  1. Turn on headlights even if not raining heavy. Daytime running lights are also helpful.
  2. Adjust your speed to the wet roads. Don’t expect to go the same speed on roads that you would normally travel.  If it is raining don’t rush and allow for longer driving time if you need to be somewhere.
  3. Defog windows when needed.
  4. Stay toward middle lanes due to water pools in the outside lanes. If the water is deeper than the bottom of the door, find another route.
  5. When driving through water, drive slowly and break softly. After the puddle slowly tap breaks to help dry off pads.
  6. Drive in the tracks of the vehicles in front of you however do not follow too closely to trucks and buses that may spray more water in your line of vision.
  7. If unable to see the road or what is in front of you, you should pull over and wait for the rain to subside.

What to do if car starts to hydroplane or skid:

  1. If hydroplaning don’t brake suddenly or turn the wheel. This can cause you to go into a skid. Let off the gas slowly and try to steer straight. If braking is necessary, pump the brakes lightly (unless you have anti-lock brakes you can brake normally). Wait until you can feel the wheel on the road again.
  2. If you do start to go into a spin, don’t’ panic, take foot off gas slowly and steer the car in the direction you want to go. You may have to turn the wheel several times to keep the vehicle in a straight line. If you don’t have anti-lock brakes, avoid braking. If you do have anti-lock brakes, break firmly as you steer into the spin.

In heavy rains the best way to remain safe of the roads is to avoid driving during the worst of the downpour. However, if driving is necessary, please use good judgment and the precautions and tips above to stay safe on the roads.

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