Navigate Rainy Roadways With Care

August 17, 2016

rainy-roadways-620x400

It’s just rain – how much impact can it really have on your driving?

The answer: a lot. You’re likely to experience lower visibility, reduced traction and increased difficulty in handling your car both during and after a rainstorm. Add flooding to the mix and suddenly things get much more challenging – and dangerous.

In fact, more than half of flood-related drownings are due to people driving into floodwaters, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So, never, ever do it. As little as 12 inches of rushing water can carry away a small car, and 24 inches can carry away most any vehicle, according to the National Weather Service, which emphasizes “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” when it comes to both walking and driving into floodwaters.

So, what about when the roads are wet but passable? From the rainy northwest, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) offers these tips for a safer approach to wet weather driving:

  1. Turn on your lights. Rain (and the spray from other vehicles) can significantly lower visibility. Make it easier for other drivers to see you.
  2. Slow down. It’s easy to lose control and hydroplane on wet roads, especially at speeds of about 35 mph or higher. Hydroplaning occurs when your front tires ride on a film of water instead of actually being in contact with the road. If it happens, ODOT recommends taking the following measures: “Ease off the gas, gently apply the brakes and steer straight ahead.” You’re also at risk of splashing water into the engine and stalling it when you drive at high speeds.
  3. Give people more room, and don’t use cruise control. You won’t be able to stop as quickly when the roads are wet – cars need two to three times more stopping distance.
  4. Expect things to be slick, especially if it hasn’t rained for a while. When a fresh rain mixes with engine oil and grease on the road, the combination can produce exceptionally slippery surfaces.
  5. Make sure tires have proper inflation and adequate tread. Both over- and under-inflated tires are dangerous even in normal conditions. As for checking the tread, use the penny test: Insert a penny into the tread with Lincoln’s head upside down. If you see his entire head, it’s time for new tires.
  6. Keep up with general car maintenance. Make sure your wipers are functioning and that you replace the blades regularly. Also check your defroster, especially if you don’t use it often.

Remember, driving safely in inclement weather requires caution and patience. Give yourself more time to get where you’re going. If conditions are truly unsafe, pull over to a safe place (or stay home if you can). And, finally, don’t be caught with inadequate insurance coverage, either. Wet conditions make accidents more likely, so before you head out into the storm, make sure you have the coverage you need.

Reposted with permission from the original author, Safeco Insurance ®

Top image by Flickr user Gary J. Wood used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

We're Moving

Our insurance agency is continuing to grow, so we are moving to a new location at 806 Stone Creek Parkway, Suite 1, Louisville, KY 40223. The new office is just off of S. Hurstbourne Parkway between Shelbyville Road and Interstate 64.

We will only be about 4-5 miles from the current office. All phone numbers, email addresses and other forms of contact will remain the same.

Our last day at the current office will be Wednesday April 14th. We will be moving on April 15th and 16th and then re-open at the new location on Monday April 19th. During the move, our access to email and Voicemail may be limited. However, if you leave a message, we should get back to you within 24 hours. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Thanks!