The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that over 450,000 injury car crashes occur every year in bad weather or on slick pavement.
Wet weather is one of the most dangerous driving conditions. Even what looks like a shallow puddle could cause expensive damage to your car or, even worse, serious injury to you.
Larry Dodd has seen it many times before - someone thinking they could drive through a puddle, but ending up high and dry with a big repair bill to replace their engine. And that can cost a great deal of money.
Dodd says, "Even six inches or less than that if you're splashing the water up under your car, it'll ingest it through the air filter and take it right in to the engine."
Larry says if you do have to drive through the water, make sure to go as slowly as possible to keep the water from splashing up into the air intake for the engine. He says that's especially a problem with motor homes because the air intake is very low.
Drew Gaddy has run The Driving Center for 17 years and says the biggest mistakes people make are driving too fast and following too closely. He says, count it out to make sure you're following at a safe distance.
"The car I'm following, I'll let him pass a landmark - maybe a sign or maybe even a rock or a puddle or anything that's stationary. And I'm gonna count 'one thousand, one,' 'one thousand, two' before I reach the same object. In the rainy weather or inclement weather, I like to at least to go to 'one thousand, three.'"
He says if you start to hydroplane along the slippery roadway, don't brake, don't veer suddenly. And take your foot off the accelerator until you're in the clear.
Here are some other wet weather driving tips:
Be careful when driving on roads that haven't seen rain in a while - they'll be extra slippery with that rain and oil mixture.
Don't use your cruise control. When it automatically accelerates, it could cause your car to hydroplane.
Always drive towards the middle of the road. Most American roads are crowned so drainage goes to the sides of the road.
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