While the rest of the country is preparing for winter cold and snow, South Carolina is ready for an entirely different type of weather. Since our great state doesn’t typically see heavy snow fall, the major form of inclement weather to be concerned about is the heavy rainfall of the annual hurricane season. From June through November, this season brings high levels of rain, which means you have to know how to drive in inclement weather. When the rain starts falling again, remember these driving tips to stay safe while out on the road.
Slow down. Wet roads make it more likely that your car will hydroplane, causing your vehicle to lift off the ground and drive on a layer of water. This is especially true at certain speeds. When the roads are wet, slow down by at least five or 10 miles an hour. If you find yourself hydroplaning, slow down until your vehicle makes contact with the road again.
Avoid flooded areas. Judging water’s depth can be difficult. What might seem like a shallow puddle could actually be significantly deeper. Because of this, it’s important to avoid flooded areas. If water is sucked into the air-intake valve and engine, then these components will stop working—and no one wants to be stuck in their car during a flood.
Feather the brakes. After going through a puddle, it’s important to feather the car’s brakes. This means to tap lightly on them. By doing this, any excess water will be removed from the brakes to keep them in working order.
Don’t tailgate. If roads are wet, then it takes longer for your vehicle to stop. Because of this, it’s important to leave plenty of distance between you and the car ahead of you—especially at top speeds. The normal distance you should be from the car in front of you at a low speed is about two car lengths. This should be doubled when driving in inclement weather.