Change in Weather Calls for Change in Driving Habits
Heavy Rain and Falling Leaves Put Drivers at Increased Risk
Given the forecast for heavy rains across Connecticut, AAA is reminding drivers that they are at greater risk when roads are wet – and, in particular, AAA research indicates that there is an increased risk for single-vehicle crashes. In addition to the rain, the first major weather event of the season will likely coat roadways and highways with a blanket of wet leaves.
“The intense rainfall in the forecast could mean limited visibility on wet roads that will be exceptionally slippery because of leaves” says AAA spokesperson Amy Parmenter. “Folks should do what they can to avoid driving during the heaviest downpours and, if you must be on the road, drive as defensively as possible”.
AAA is reminding drivers of 5 risk factors that come with heavy rain:
- Limited vision – When so much rain falls over a short period of time, drivers can’t see. If you can’t see, you can’t drive. Pull over and put on your hazard lights.
- Covered Roads – The heavy rain is expected to bring down a blanket of leaves that will put a slick layer between the tires and the surface of the road.
- Flooding –Drivers attempting to drive through a flooded roadway or intersection put themselves, their passengers and their cars at risk.
- Hydroplaning – Even without the leaves, wet roads minimize traction.
- Other Drivers – With the increased risks, there will be accidents. Drive defensively.
“Even defensive drivers are at risk when the roads are wet and blanketed with leaves. Turn on your lights, not just so you can see – but also so you can be seen by others” says Parmenter.
AAA offers these wet-weather reminders:
- Slow down. Drive defensively and with compromised road conditions in mind.
- Increase following distance. In optimal conditions, drivers should allow 3-4 seconds to stop. When roads are wet, following distance should be increased to 8-10 seconds
- Make sure tires are properly inflated and have a healthy tread.
- Never use cruise control in wet-weather.
- Make sure headlights are on and that your brake lights and taillights are clean and visible - not just so you can see but so you can be seen by others.
- Make sure windshield wipers work and don’t streak.
- If you do begin to skid or hydroplane, always look and steer in the direction you want to go.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 58 million members nationwide and more than one million members in Connecticut. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.aaa.com.