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Wet weather warrants greater care to avoid car accidents

We are entering what are traditionally the wettest months of the year around the San Antonio area. What that means is that there is a greater chance that slick road surfaces can develop, literally in a flash, and present drivers with situations for which they are not necessarily prepared.

Negligence in the form of distracted driving is a significant enough factor in many of injury-causing accidents in our region. Add on the unexpected effects of slip-and-slide highways from the rain and it represents an even more serious risk. It's for that reason that we offer the following suggestions to improve safety.

  • Give yourself plenty of room. In dry conditions, experts say you an average car going 55 mph needs about 175 feet to stop safely. That's just under two-thirds of a football field. If roads are wet, the gap should be even greater.
  • Gauge your tires. The tread needs to be adequate. Stick a quarter, Washington's head first, into the shallowest groove. If you can see the top of his wig, the tire might need replacing. Make sure the tires are inflated according to your carmaker's specifications. It might not be the same as the maximum listed on the tire itself.
  • Keep your head in a skid. If you go into a skid, don't panic. Steer in the direction you want to go. And, according to the AAA, don't slam on the brakes. That only makes things worse.
  • Avoid potholes. This is probably a bigger problem in North Texas, but it's still worth noting. Try to avoid these hazards. If you can't, avoid sudden braking. Slow ahead of a pothole and take it easy going over it.

Above all, keep your mind focused on the road. With all the distractions around us these days, this is more important than ever.

Source: DirectGeneral.com, "Wet Weather Driving Tips for the Spring," accessed April 30, 2015

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