It’s spring in Texas, and the showers and storms have hit full force. Is your car ready for this weather?
Wet, slippery roads can be dangerous, especially if your tires and brakes haven’t been checked recently. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 1.2 million car accidents occur on wet roads each year, and about 5,700 people are killed in accidents caused by wet, slippery roads.
Keep yourself and your family safe on the roads this spring with these tips:
Check tire pressure. Tires should be properly inflated to ensure you get good traction on wet roads. Without good traction, you may have problems accelerating, turning, or stopping on wet pavement.
Replace worn tires. Bald tires are dangerous, especially on wet roads. To be sure your tires are able to resist hydroplaning on wet roads, they should have at least 4/32” of remaining tread depth. To check the tread on your tires, place a quarter in a groove on your tire with Washington’s head pointing down. If you are able to see the top of his head, it’s time to have your tires replaced.
Replace your windshield wipers. While you’re checking your tires, go ahead and check your wipers and replace them if needed. Windshield wipers should be replaced every six months to a year, or when you notice a difference in driving visibility. If your wipers begin to squeak, chatter, skip, smear, or streak the water on your windshield it is because they are not making proper contact with your windshield and need to be replaced.
Increase distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. When the roads are wet, it can take more time for your car to come to a complete stop. Give yourself more distance between your car and the car in front of you.
Be cautious. High speed, hard braking, and quick turning can cause your car to skid if the roads are wet. Slow down, brake gently, and turn slowly to be sure your car does not begin to skid in the rain. It’s also best to stick to the middle lanes when driving in the rain. Most roads are designed to allow water to run toward the outside, which can cause some flooding in the outer lanes when it rains.
Stay calm. If you do start to skid on wet pavement, don’t panic. Gently ease your foot off the accelerator and steer your car in the direction of the skid. If your car is equipped with anti-lock brakes (ABS) apply steady, firm pressure to your brake pedal. If your car does not have ABS brakes, lightly tap or pump your brake pedal to gradually slow your car.
April is National Car Care Month. Have you had your car in for a tune up lately? Schedule an appointment with Auto Lab Texas and we’ll check your tires, brakes, and give your car a tune up to ensure you are ready for Texas spring weather.
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