With the weather warming up, it feels like spring showers might be just around the corner. As snow melts and flowers begin blooming, remember that wet weather causes a large number of auto accidents every year- 1.2 million crashes to be exact, according to The American Auto Association. If you want to avoid an accident and keep your cheap car insurance, it's a good idea to review wet weather driving habits - before you get caught in a downpour.
Maintain space between you and other drivers
The most important thing you can do when you're driving on wet pavement - whether it is currently raining or not - is to keep enough space between you and other drivers on the road. On dry pavement with good visibility, there should be at least two seconds between you and the driver in front of you. That means you should watch for the other car to pass a stationary object and count, "one-Mississippi, two-Mississippi," before you pass the same point.
On wet pavement, this space should double to four seconds. It may seem like a lot of space if you're used to following closely, but it's space worth counting out if you're able to avoid an accident.
Check your tires
The Rubber Manufacturers Association reminds drivers that the condition of their tires is crucial to their being able to stop quickly in wet weather. First, check your tread by sticking a quarter into the trough of your tread where it looks the shallowest. If you can see the top of Washington's head, your tread is too worn out, and you should consider buying new tires. You can make your tread last a little bit longer by rotating your tires appropriately. If your owner's manual doesn't say how often to rotate your tires, it should usually be done every 5,000 miles.
Your tires also need to be correctly inflated in order to work properly. The maximum inflation isn't the correct level - instead, your vehicle manufacturer will specify the correct inflation pressure for your tires.
Don't panic in a skid
Skids and hydroplaning happen to even the most experienced drivers. The most important thing to remember is, don't panic! Instead, stay calm and continue to steer in the direction that you want to go. Avoid slamming on the brakes, as this can upset the car's balance further, according to AAA.
The winter can be extremely destructive to some roads, which leads to potholes. Potholes can be formed when water seeps into cracks in the road and continuously freezes and thaws, expanding and contracting in a process known as "freeze-thaw action." Going over potholes can be destructive to your tires, your wheels and your front end alignment, so avoided them whenever possible, according to The RMA.
If you can't avoid a pothole - and sometimes you just can't - the trick is to avoid braking while you're going over it. Instead, brake as you approach the pothole to slow yourself down as much as possible, then release the brakes as you pass over the hole. Going over the pothole while you brake will lead to a "solid hit" against your tire, while a relaxed wheel will simply roll over the hole.
By far the most important thing to remember is to stay alert when you're driving in wet weather. If you follow these tips and stay aware of your surroundings you are far less likely to get into an accident.