It’s that time of the year again — time for wetter roads and, unfortunately, more accidents.
Russell Shepherd, a mechanical engineer for Michelin North America and self-proclaimed “tire nerd,” has certainly earned his informal title as evident by his 15 years of driving in almost every type of weather condition imaginable. Most concerning for him — wet weather.
“Most people don’t realize how much wet roads affect their driving,” says Shepherd. “When roads become wet, it takes longer to stop and more time to react, making it more important than normal to pay attention to your car and other drivers.”
So, what can the average driver do? Shepard suggests getting to the bottom of things first — with the tires. Here are some tips:
1. Check all tires regularly for tread wear and pressure. Changes in season and temperatures make it a good time to check both.
2. Be cautious from the start. As soon as it starts raining, traction can become negatively affected. It only takes a small amount of water to mix with oil and dust to create a slick surface.
3. Find the right tire. A tire with a grip designed to handle wet roads can make a big difference.
4. Get in touch with your car. Take time to learn how your car responds on wet roads. Is the steering looser than normal? Are you sliding when you brake? Do you notice the ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) kicking in? If so, your tires could be losing their grip. Slow down and get your tires checked as soon as possible.
Our Beginner Driver's Education (BDE) course covers all the challenging driving conditions you may be faced with on the road, with tips for how to adjust your driving habits accordingly. You will learn about safe driving in fog, rain, snow and at night; and how to drive to the conditions!
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