Nobody wants to leave their couch on a rainy day, but a long list of things to do, or children to pick up from school, or a commute to and from work will often leave you with no choice but to fire up your vehicle and hope for the best during a rainy day. "You can best prepare for rainy weather by replacing your windshield wipers every season and by using a rain treatment on your windshield after every time you wash your vehicle. Additionally, be sure to check tread depth and tire pressures before driving in the rain," says Bryan Gregory, Advance Auto Parts director of consumer education.
There are several safety factors to consider: You will want to pay attention to the type of surface you are driving on. Smooth pavement, steel bridge grates and manhole covers are notoriously slick when they are wet. Intersections, entry and exit ramps, toll plazas and other areas that experience a high daily volume of traffic traveling at lower speeds tend to collect vehicle fluids and become dangerously slick even after a light rain.
Whether your tires are in great condition or not, the higher the speed that you are traveling, the harder it becomes for the grooves in your vehicle’s tires to displace the water that is on the road; this is what causes your vehicle to hydroplane. Should this occur you may be able to stop hydroplaning by gradually slowing down and making slight steering adjustments; over-correction and too much brake pressure only worsen the situation. All season tires have deeper water grooves and are designed to shed water quickly and offer good traction in wet weather.
Through it all, excellent visibility is the key! Windshield wipers are a critical part of your safety. "Keeping your windshield wiper system in top shape allows you to see clearly in all types of adverse weather and is crucial to safe operation of your vehicle," says Gregory. Again, wind shield wipers only need to be replaced seasonally and you can do it yourself easily in about 15 minutes, or stop by your local Advance Auto Parts Store and a Team Member will gladly provide free windshield wiper installation. "Rear visibility is critical as well, especially for SUV and minivan drivers. Don’t forget to replace the rear wiper blade for maximum visibility," Gregory adds. For extra tips, ask an Advance Auto Parts Team Member what is best for your vehicle.
Aside from making sure that your tires are up to par and your windshield wipers are performing properly, some general tips to stay safe during a rainy day trip are: slowing your general speed down, allowing longer stopping distances, staying further back from vehicles that are in front of you and driving as smoothly as possible avoiding quick changes in speed or direction. Also, for a little added safety, try to complete all of your travel during day light as rainy commutes are most hazardous at night due to decreased visibility.
In addition to carrying a broad assortment of windshield wiper blades to meet any specific driving need, Advance offers fast, free wiper blade installation year-round in all its stores. Also, through October 27, the company is offering 25 percent off all wiper blades.
For additional information, visit www.AdvanceAutoParts.com.