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Safe driving tips for hurricane season

Jessica AlbrechtJessica AlbrechtWhile you might associate dangerous driving conditions with the ice and snow of winter, driving during the summer months has its own risks: the peak of Hurricane Season in August and September makes for especially dangerous conditions.

It’s best to avoid driving in bad weather conditions, but you cannot always make alternate travel plans. The AAA Senior Driving page recommends that you plan ahead before driving in the rain by following these tips:

  • Give yourself more time to get to your destination when driving in bad weather.
  • Check your vehicle and make sure your tires, wipers and lights are in good condition.
  • Charge your cellphone and do not use it while driving.
  • Keep an emergency kit in your vehicle.

Additionally, while you’re on the road:

August 2014 Safe Driving photo

  • As soon as you start the car, turn on your headlights and wipers.
  • Give yourself plenty of space around other vehicles.
  • When possible, drive in the middle lane of a three-lane road; most roads are higher in the middle, which means there’s a greater chance of water runoff and standing water in the side lanes.

Hydroplaning occurs when you drive—even at speeds as slow as 30 mph—over areas of standing water; water builds up between your tires and the road, causing your car to be carried over a thin film of water.

To prevent hydroplaning:

  • Slow down when you see water standing on the surface of the pavement, especially on freeways.
  • Drive in the tracks left by any vehicle ahead.
  • Use tires with deep, open treads and be sure to inflate them to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure.
  • If hydroplaning does occur, do not brake. Instead, ease your foot off the accelerator to gradually decrease speed until your tires regain traction, and continue to look and steer where you want to go.

Enjoy your driving trips this summer, and safe travels!