Wet roads pose a threat to area drivers

Wet roads pose a threat to area drivers

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – With the threat of wet roads and potentially dangerous driving conditions looming over the area this week, the South Carolina Department of Transportation and AAA have some important tips for drivers.

Our local roads present a challenge to SCDOT, who have made efforts to improve conditions. Unfortunately, because of the increase in rain this week, that challenge has become more dangerous for drivers.

The Grand Strand area should be expecting rain Tuesday and Thursday of this week. Due to those predictions, drivers should slow down. The strain wet-weather driving puts on cars makes it imperative for drivers to be gentle when using main controls, which in turn will allow a larger margin for mistakes in case of emergency.

Speed limits are set for all possible conditions by the SCDOT, therefore in rain, drivers should not exceed the limit. Speeding in the rain may cause a potentially dangerous situation for other drivers. Standing, or running water is something that should be avoided if possible in order to prevent hydroplaning. When hydroplaning there are two things motorists should avoid when operating vehicles:

Do not abruptly apply breaks.  Do not turn the steering wheel.  When breaks are applied, the car could possibly be thrown into a skid. If breaking is essential, pump the break gently, and slowly in order to avoid aggressive movements. Make sure to hold your wheel firmly, and continue a straight forward direction, and slowly ease your foot off of the break until your car slows to a controllable speed.

The AAA Exchange notes three tips for safe driving in wet weather:

Avoid Cruise Control
Most modern cars feature cruise control. This feature works great in dry conditions, but when used in wet conditions, the chance of losing control of the vehicle can increase. To prevent loss of traction, the driver may need to reduce the car's speed by lifting off the accelerator, which cannot be accomplished when cruise control is engaged.

Slow Down and Leave Room
Slowing down during wet weather driving can be critical to reducing a car's chance of hydroplaning, when the tires rise up on a film of water. With as little as 1/12 inch of water on the road, tires have to displace a gallon of water per second to keep the rubber meeting the road. Drivers should reduce their speed to correspond to the amount of water on the roadway. At speeds as low as 35 mph, new tires can still lose some contact with the roadway.

Even careful drivers can experience skids. If a driver feels their car begin to skid, it's important to not panic.

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