When you mention April showers, most people’s thoughts turn towards that old saying about spring blooms. What they often forget about is how those same showers can affect their safety on the roadways. Here in the southeastern part of the United States, I can’t forget. That’s because I live in an area that is prone to flash flooding. With that said, here are five ways to stay safe during those sudden downpours:
Know the Terrain
If at all possible, be well familiar with the areas that you’ll be traveling in. I have found that doing so helps me to avoid roads that are known to flood. For example, I frequently travel U.S. 1. It’s located along the Florida-Georgia border. The road is known to flood at times. Thus, I make it a point to take an alternate route during spring storms. Doing so has kept me from entering dangerous situations on more than one occasion.
Watch for Trees
Speaking of the terrain, trees hanging over roadways are another rainy day problem that drivers should look out for. Here in the south, trees have a tendency to have shallow root systems. The ground is also sandy in spots. Thus, entire trees are apt to fall over onto the roadway during severe spring storms. Personally, I’d suggest avoiding those areas and reporting your concerns to those responsible for keeping the area safe.
Mind the Middle
In my experience, sudden spring downpours also typically cause water to pool onto the sides of the roads. This is especially true of low-lying roads that are surrounded by drainage ditches or located near water bodies. Therefore, I tend to take the middle lane whenever possible. Oftentimes, it has less standing water on it. In my book, less standing water means there’s less of a chance that I’ll end up hydroplaning myself into an insurance claim.
Easy on the Brakes
Keeping with the topic of hydroplaning, it’s important that you understand what to do in such situations. If you don’t know what to do, you may want to consider taking a safe driving class. Your local Department of Motor Vehicle Office should be able to help you locate one in your area.
Maintain the Vehicle
Lastly, before heading out into a downpour, you’ll want to make sure that your vehicle is in working order. There are several items that I would recommend checking. Among them are your car’s defrost system, windshield wipers, exterior lights, interior lights and tires. You may also want to consider applying a commercially available, water repellent and anti-fog substance to your car’s windows too. Based on my experience, it helps to reduce visibility issues during spring storms.
Source: Personal Experience
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