Spring brings thunderstorms and lots of rain in this part of the country. Please read these tips to prepare yourself and your teen for driving in the springtime showers.
1. Get your vehicle ready. Make sure your tires have a proper amount of tread. You can check this my inserting a penny upside down into the deepest groove of your tire. If you can see all of Lincoln’s head, you need new tires. Also, be sure your wiper blades are good.
2. Stay home if possible when severe weather is predicted for your area.
3. Eliminate distractions if you must drive in rain or severe weather. You need all of your attention on the task at hand. Turn off the radio, minimize conversation, do not use electronic devices, etc. That one second you aren’t concentrating could mean the difference between reacting in time to prevent an accident or not.
4. Pull over and stop if conditions become too bad. Always find a safe place to pull over to wait out the storm. The shoulder of a roadway is NOT considered a safe place. You need to be completely off the roadway, so you do not make yourself a hazard to others or put yourself in danger at the same time.
5. During windy conditions. Hold the steering wheel with a tight grip. Be aware that larger vehicles, especially those with trailers, may have trouble maintaining their lane. Pass those vehicles quickly, rather than staying beside them.
6. When driving in heavy rain. Slow down! You could hydroplane. Hydroplaning is what happens when your tires cannot displace the amount of water quickly enough. As a result, your vehicle could actually skim across the water rather than displacing it, which could very easily cause you to lose control.
7. Increase both following distance and braking distance. When following behind another vehicle in adverse conditions, it is a good idea to leave more space than the 3 seconds you should leave under normal conditions. Also, begin braking well in advance.
8. Use your headlights. Anytime your windshield wipers are in use, also turn on your headlights as a good rule of thumb.
9. When severe storms and tornadoes are imminent (when a severe thunderstorm warning or tornado warning has been issued for your area), always take shelter. Do not attempt to outrun a tornado. Find a sturdy building and go inside. If no building is available, find a deep ditch and become very familiar with the dirt. Generally, staying in your vehicle is not the best option.