With heavy rain in the forecast, here's what you need to know before getting into your car.
AAA offers these tips of advice.Go slowly. Slow down and increase following distances. Speed limits are set for ideal road conditions. When it rains, visibility is reduced and braking distances increase.
Light up. Use low-beam headlights to help others see your car and increase your visibility. Remember Maryland law requires headlights to be on when windshield wipers are in use.
Be careful of standing and running water. As little as six inches of water on a road can cause most drivers to lose control of their vehicle. Nearly half of all people who die in flash floods are in cars and have underestimated the power of flood waters or have not acted quickly enough to escape. Do not drive through moving water or flooded areas. If floodwaters arise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can safely do so. If not, do not open your car doors, stay within your vehicle and call 911.
Be a follower. Driving in the tracks of other vehicles can improve traction and help avoid hydroplaning.
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Listen to the experts. Heed the warnings of emergency officials and do not attempt to drive on closed roads or into evacuated areas.
When you can’t see. If visibility and driving conditions are poor, turn on your emergency flashers and get to a safe place – if possible a rest stop or parking lot. If your visibility is compromised, other drivers may be struggling too. In high winds, choose a spot away from trees and power lines that may topple. If the side of the road is the only option, pull off as far as possible and consider finding a safe place to stand behind a guard rail or twice as far from the road as you think is safe.
Use your wipers. Turn on windshield wipers as soon as rain begins to fall. Set intermittent wipers to a speed that will clear the windshield well enough to prevent visibility from being compromised.
Keep it clear. Use your defroster with your air conditioning to keep the air dry and prevent windows from fogging.
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