Driving on wet roads is challenging, especially after a long dry spell. While it’s tempting to ignore the rain and drive normally, it’s important to recognize that wet roads are fundamentally more dangerous than dry roads, especially when it comes to braking techniques. But why is braking harder on wet roads and what can you do to stay safe? Let’s find out.
Traction describes your tire’s ability to stick to the road. The more traction it has, the greater the driver's control. Anything that gets in between the tires and the road reduces that traction and makes driving more difficult. In wet conditions, your car is no longer driving on the road, it’s driving on the layer of water on top of it.
Because you have less traction in wet conditions, you are more prone to hydroplaning. This means the car loses traction to the road and skids on the water. The best way to avoid this is by exercising proper acceleration and braking techniques so you maintain control of the car.
Slow and Steady
When driving in wet conditions, you need to accelerate and brake more gradually than you normally would. This will help you maintain traction and control of your vehicle. Likewise, you should aim to travel about 5-10 MPH slower than you normally would. There are two reasons for this.
First, traction decreases with speed. So if the road conditions already create less traction, you need to be careful to maintain what you have by adjusting your speed. Second, if you brake too quickly, you increase the risk of hydroplaning. Generally, you need to brake much earlier on wet roads to prevent your brakes from locking.
While it may seem simple, many drivers forget the basics of driving on wet roads. Next time it's raining, make sure you take traction into consideration so you can better maintain control of your vehicle.
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