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9 tips to stay safe driving on wet roads

ORLANDO, Fla. — Summertime in Florida means thunderstorms send rain our way nearly every afternoon.

AAA says wet pavement contributes to nearly 1.2 million traffic crashes a year.

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Here are 9 tips from AAA to stay safe on the roads when you’re caught in the rain:

1. AAA recommends replacing windshield wiper inserts that leave streaks or don’t clear the glass in a single swipe so you can see the road clearly.

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2. Make sure all headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals are properly functioning.

3. Check tread depth with a quarter inserted upside down into the tire groove. If you can see above Washington’s head, start shopping for new tires.

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4. Check each tire’s pressure, including the spare, at least once a month.

5. Avoid cruise control. When used in wet conditions, AAA says the chance of losing control of the vehicle can increase.

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6. Slow down. Slowing your speed during wet weather driving can be critical to reducing a car’s chance of hydroplaning, which happens when the tires rise up on a film of water. AAA recommends that drivers 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.

7. To reduce the chances of hydroplaning, AAA also recommends avoiding hard braking or turning sharply and driving in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you.

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8. Leave ample stopping distance between cars by increasing the following distance of the vehicle in front of them and beginning to slow down to stop for intersections, turns and other traffic early.

9. If a driver feels their car begin to skid, it’s important to not panic and follow these basic steps:

  • Continue to look and steer in the direction in which the driver wants the car to go.
  • Avoid slamming on the brakes as this will further upset the vehicle’s balance and make it harder to control.

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Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.