On October 30, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol saw fifteen times the number of accidents they normally see along I-35. Many of them were weather-related traffic accidents due to the rainy weather conditions along the southern part of I-35. With winter quickly approaching, wet roads and other dangerous driving conditions are going to become more and more common. To help you avoid an accident, consider the following wet-weather driving tips:
- Avoid using cruise control. Using it will increase your chances of losing control of your vehicle on slick roads.
- If you know it is likely to rain a lot soon, check your windshield wipers. Make sure they are in good condition. If you find they are wearing out or if you find they are leaving streaks on your windshield when you use them, replace your windshield wipers. Not being able to see during wet weather could lead to an accident.
- Slow down. If you are driving too quickly, your vehicle’s wheels are more likely to lose contact with the roadway.
- Avoid quick or jerky movements. This includes turning sharply or slamming on your brakes.
- If your vehicle starts to hydroplane, do not panic. Do not slam on the brakes or try to quickly accelerate. Instead, look and steer in the direction you would like your vehicle to go. Once your vehicle has started to regain contact with the ground, lightly hit the gas, and move in your desired direction.
- Avoid following too closely. Allow yourself adequate stopping distance. This can be especially important if the vehicle in front you ends up hitting a particularly wet part of the roadway.
- If road conditions are especially wet or otherwise potentially dangerous, avoid driving. If you know a certain road is more likely to be flooded, adjust your route accordingly.