How to stay safe while driving on wet roads

If you reside in a region where rain is a frequent occurrence or in a tropical region where monsoon season is prevalent, driving on wet roads is something you have to deal with quite often. Here are some tips and guidelines which can ensure your safety while doing so.

  • The most important and basic check that you must carry out regularly is to look over and properly inspect the tread of your tire every time you go to get your tire pressures checked.
  • Look for tires that have gone bald. A good and popular way of doing this is to place a penny into every groove of the tire and checking if the hat of Abraham Lincoln is visible or not. If it is, the tread depth is too shallow.
  • In case your tires are not completely worn, insert a tread depth gauge into the grooves of the tires and make a note of the number of inches of usable tread still remaining. Running on groove that are less than 2/32 of an inch can be dangerous on wet surfaces.
  • Do not cut more ‘sipes’ or grooves into your tires. While this may improve wet weather handling, it will certainly take a heavier toll on the tire on dry running and reduce the life of the tire considerably.  Certain mechanics may advise you to do it but it is not recommended. Remember, by cutting sipes into your tire, you are reducing the contact patch of the tire, which is reducing the overall grip of the tire.
  • While examining the tread, also run checks for other problems and deficiencies. If you happen to see strange cuts or cracks, replace it. If you see an unusual bulge along the sidewall of the tire, replace it.
  • Check for uneven tire wear. This indicates a possible problem in the wheel’s alignment or a problem with the suspension that is producing too much deviation in the camber or toe.
  • Lastly, one of the most basic things you can is just slow down your pace. If it starts to rain, turn on your hazard lights and reduce your speed to a safe amount so you can regain control of your vehicle should you encounter sudden hydroplaning. If you do however start to hydroplane, first thing to do is back off the accelerator.