Driving Skills - Preventive Measures on Wet Pavement

Driving Skills
Preventive Measures on Wet Pavement

Drive Defensively:

· Defensive drivers adjust their speed to wet road conditions in time to avoid driving in a skid or hydroplaning.

In a skid:

· Prevent skids by driving slowly and carefully, especially on curves.

· If you find yourself in a skid, remain calm, ease your foot off the gas and carefully steer in the direction you want the front of the car to go. If your car has anti-lock brakes, brake firmly as you “steer into the skid.” This procedure will bring the back end of your car in line with the front. For cars without ABS, avoid using  your brakes.


· Hydroplaning occurs when your tires lose contact with the road and ride on a layer of water; you lose control of your vehicle and are unable to maneuver.

· To avoid this, keep your tires properly inflated, maintain good tread on your tires and replace them when necessary. Slow down when roads are wet and stay away from puddles. Try to drive in the tire tracks left by the cars in front of you.

· If you find yourself hydroplaning, do not brake or turn suddenly; your car could skid. Ease your foot off the gas until the car slows and you can feel the road again.  If you need to brake and your car has ABS, brake normally. If you do not have ABS, brake gently with light pumping actions.

Alcohol Adds Risk:

· Alcohol is a leading factor in fatal traffic crashes, playing a part in about half of all motor vehicle-related deaths. More fatal crashes take place on weekend nights than at any other time in the week.

Take Precautions While Driving at Night:

Traffic death rates are three times greater at night than during the day. Be aware of special hazards at night and effective ways to deal with them.

· Darkness—90% of a driver’s reaction depends on vision, and vision is limited severely at night. Older drivers have even greater difficulties seeing at night.  A 50-year-old driver may need twice as much light to see as well as a 30-year-old. If there is any doubt, turn your headlights on. Lights will not help you see better in twilight, but they’ll make it easier for other drivers to see you. Being seen is as important as seeing.

· Fatigue – Drowsiness makes driving more difficult by dulling concentration and slowing reaction   time.  Signs of drowsiness include eyes closing or going out of focus, persistent yawning and inability to remember driving the last few miles. Get off the road and take a short nap in a well-lit area or let someone else in the vehicle take over driving.

· Avoiding collisions – It is more difficult to judge other vehicles’ speeds and distances at night. Reduce your speed and increase your following distance to avoid collisions.

Source: National Safety Council