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Driving Tips for Wet Roads

Driving in the rain can be dangerous; in fact thousands of car accidents each year are caused by wet driving conditions.

Routinely Check Your Tires
It is a good idea to always check your tires before you hit the road. To ensure your tires are working at their best, make sure you do the following routine maintenance:

Keep your tires properly inflated.
The correct air pressure for your tires is specified by the vehicle manufacturer and can be found on the vehicle door edge, door post, glove box door or fuel door. It is also listed in the owner’s manual. The number listed on the side of the tire is not the recommended air pressure for your tire – it is the maximum air pressure for the tire. You should check your tire’s air pressure at least once a month.

Check the tire tread depth.
Tires should have 1/16 inch tread depth in order to perform in the way for which they were designed. Proper tread depth will help prevent skids and hydroplaning.

Have your tires rotated at least every 9,000 – 11,000 km .
This will aid in detecting alignment problems and help prevent irregular wear.

Slow Down
As rain falls, it mixes with grime and oil on the road creating slick conditions perfect for skids. The best way to avoid skidding is to slow down. Driving at a slower pace allows more of the tire’s tread to make contact with the road, which leads to better traction.

Recover From a Skid
Skids can even happen to the most cautious drivers. If your car does skid, remember not to slam on the brakes, and do not pump the brakes if you have an anti-lock braking system (ABS). Instead apply pressure to the brakes in a firm manner and steer the car in the direction of the skid.

Keep a Safe Distance
It takes about three times longer to brake on wet roads than on dry roads. Since more distance is required to brake, it is important not to tailgate. Keep more than two car lengths between you and the vehicle in front of you.

Recover from Hydroplaning
When it rains, water creates a barrier between the road and your tires. The liquid film that forms can cause you to lose traction and glide or hydroplane across the water’s surface. If this happens, do not brake. It is better to take your foot off the gas, hold the steering wheel in place, and lightly apply the brakes. If you have a manual transmission, push in the clutch and let the car slow down on its own.


Driving Tips for Winter

Thanks to their special compound, winter tires offer the elasticity required to ensure maximum grip throughout the cold season, regardless of the road conditions. Summer tires can become hard when the temperature falls below 7 degrees Celsius, thereby losing the flexibility needed to build up sufficient grip for braking, starting and cornering. Because of their greater suppleness in the cold, winter tires are able to interlock with asphalt, snow and ice, even at lower temperatures.

Here a few tips to keep you from slipping and sliding on the way to work in the morning:

Listen to the weather report the evening before. If snow is predicted, you should plan to get going earlier, because of traffic jams and delays. In really treacherous weather, the safest thing to do is stay home.

Before taking off, make sure all car windows are completely clear of snow and ice; if you try to get by with just a peephole, you may end up sharing the blame for an accident.

Check your rearview mirror and then test your brakes as soon as it is safe to do so. This will give you a feel for road conditions.

Avoid shortcuts via residential side streets. These roads are cleared last, if at all.

Allow an extra wide safety margin when stopping at traffic lights and intersections and pay close attention to the vehicles in front of you.

Avoid braking just before the intersection, where it is particularly slippery.

Be especially careful when crossing bridges! They can be treacherous and extremely slippery in winter because they are “cooled” from above and below. Fog can form ice on very cold days and make roads slick.

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