As most of us are well aware, Texas weather can be a bit moody. One day it’s 75 degrees and sunny, the next day it’s 30 degrees and cloudy. It can go from a sunshiny day in one moment to pouring cats and dogs in the next. When those heavy rains sneak up on us while driving, it can be a little scary. But don’t worry, friends. Leif Johnson Ford is here to give you tips on safe ways to drive in such a downpour.
- It may seem obvious, but slow down. This will give you more time to react to slippery roads and limited visibility. The start of the storm can actually be the most dangerous at moisture mixes with oil on the road and makes everything more slippery and dangerous.
- Be wary of hydroplaning. Heavy rains eventually wash the oils away, but that’s really when you have to worry about hydroplaning, where your car loses control of the road and almost feels as if it’s floating. If you find that this is happening, try to keep calm. Take your foot off the gas and calmly steer in a safe direction. Slow down, turn off cruise control and avoid any sudden breaks or turns. You’re more likely to hydroplane on non-grooved asphalts roads than ribbed or grooved concrete, especially if there are tire ruts worn in the asphalt.
- Do not attempt to drive through deep puddles. Puddles can hide potholes, so do your best to drive around them, still being mindful of vehicles in the lanes next to you. Make sure you are also avoiding flooding roads or moving water. Deep water can be detrimental to your electrical system and engine. Only one foot of water has the ability to float your vehicle. Two feet can sweep it away, including SUVs and pickups.
- Turn on your headlights, but don’t use your high beams as the light reflecting against the droplets could potentially distract you and other drivers.
- Flip on your defrosters to reduce fog and set your AC or heat to fresh air.
- Keep your distance from the obscuring spray of trucks or large vehicles.
- If the weather gets too intense, don’t risk your safety. Find a safe place on higher ground, away from tall, isolated trees and poles, to protect yourself from potential lightning. Pull over to wait for the rain to pass.
Thanks to Ford Vehicles for these handy tips. Stay safe out there in all of the many moods of Texas weather, y’all!