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SAFETY TIPS FOR DRIVING IN WET/RAINY/FLOODING WEATHER
The University of Colorado, Boulder was hit hard by the storms and floods a few weeks ago. 80 of the Campus’ 300 structures sustained some kind of water damage making it the hardest hit school in the state. More than a half dozen schools had to cancel classes. Driving in wet weather conditions can be extremely dangerous. The risks of driving on wet roads or in flooded areas can be loss of traction, hydroplaning, skidding or worse. Here are a few Safety Driving Tips from our friends at AAA to remember as the rainy season approaches...
Your work begins BEFORE you begin your drive/make sure your vehicle is ready:
· Make sure the Driver Can See
o Clean windshield
o Wipers fresh
o Plenty of windshield washer fluid
· Be seen
o Lights on!
o Braking- before start, tap brake pedal- lights flash on and off to alert driver behind
· Maximize your traction
- Tread- make sure you have enough
- If not, you could hydroplane
- Check tire inflation pressure
Assess the Situation and Prepare for the Drive
· First step is…Don’t drive…at least if you don’t have to
o Avoid driving within first 15 minutes of rain
o Dirt and oil rise up to the surface- making the road even slicker
· Third- Slow down
o In Rain = your tires have about 30% less traction
o Drop your speed by about the same percentage to maintain the about the same traction as in dry conditions
· Speed control- avoid using cruise control
o To prevent loss of traction, the driver may need to reduce the car’s speed by simply lifting off the accelerator, which cannot be accomplished when cruise control is engaged.
· Don’t drive through deep puddles
o Can rapidly slow your vehicle
§ Even pull you hard to one side
o Can stall the car
· Drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead
o They’ve already “pushed” the water away
· Give others plenty of room
o They may drive more erratically
o Also, it’s important for motorists to allow ample stopping distance between cars by increasing the following distance of the vehicle in front of them and beginning to slow down to stop for intersections, turns and other traffic early.
o Assume other drivers are blind to you- don’t even see you
And-last but not least...
IF YOUR VEHICLE HAS BEEN SITTING IN STANDING/FLOOD WATER:
DO NOT attempt to start a vehicle in standing water unless the water level is below the door openings and never rose any higher than the door opening. Trying to start a vehicle that is currently, or was previously exposed to higher water levels could result in immediate and severe engine damage if water is drawn into the combustion chambers.