The safety of my customers is very important to me, and I want to ensure that you are properly prepared for the rain. Below are some important questions to ask before driving in less than perfect Southern California weather:
- Have you had the Anti-Lock Braking System inspected?
- Have you had your brakes and brake pads replaced regularly?
- Do you have a high-quality brake fluid?
- Have you checked your defroster to ensure it works properly?
- Have you checked your tires’ tread lately?
- Are your tires are properly inflated?
- Have you checked your windshield wipers to make sure they are adequate?
- Do you have washer fluid in your car?
- Have you changed your shocks and struts in the past year?
- If you live near freezing temperatures, make sure to have snow chains, as well as a supply of salt, sand or kitty litter (the non-clumping kind).
- Do you have an emergency kit in your car? I suggest basic tools, a good flashlight, water bottles, and a first aid kit. If possible, a portable battery jumper and empty gas can might prove useful as well.
In addition to the above, I found the following information on www.Edmunds.com, and feel it is important to read. I’ve shortened it, but feel free to visit the site for the full article.
When the road is wet, the film of the water on the asphalt causes tires to lose traction. Less obvious is the fact that rain reduces driver perception. It’s harder to see through the rain, and also decreases visibility through its action on headlights, windshields and the road itself. While most people know to slow down in the rain, there are definitely other tips that will help keep you, and those who share the road with you, from becoming a statistic.
- Exercise extreme caution after a long dry spell. During a dry period, engine oil and grease build up on the road over time. When mixed with water from a new rainfall, the road becomes extremely slick. Continued rainfall will eventually wash away the oil, but the first few hours can be the most dangerous.
- Allow for more travel time.
- Brake earlier and with less force than you would normally. Not only does this increase the stopping distance between you and the car in front of you, it also lets the driver behind you know that you’re slowing down.
- Stay toward the middle of the road to avoid deep standing puddles.
Don’t use cruise control.
- If you see a large puddle up ahead, drive around it or choose a different route.
Don’t attempt to cross running water.
- After you cross a puddle, tap on your brake pedal lightly to dry off some of the water on your rotors.
- Turn on your headlights, even when there’s a light sprinkle. It helps you see the road, and more importantly, it helps other motorists see you. However, don’t blast your high beams in the rain or fog, it’ll obscure your view further, as the light will reflect back at you. If your car is equipped with foglights, you may find it helpful to turn these on.
Watch out for pedestrians.
- If it’s raining so hard that you can’t see the road or the car in front of you, pull over and wait it out.
- Let the car ahead pave a clear path, so to speak, through the water.
Give a truck or bus extra distance.
- Defog your windows. Rain will quickly cause your windshield to fog up. Switch on both front and rear defrosters and make sure the air conditioning is turned on.
- If you start to hydroplane, don’t brake suddenly or turn the wheel, or you might spin into a skid. Release the gas pedal slowly and steer straight until the car regains traction. If you must brake, tap the brake pedal (unless you have antilock brakes, in which case you can put your foot down).
I hope that the above tips prove helpful to you. Should you have an accident, German Tech in Thousand Oaks offers full body work services by skilled European professionals. Remember that you have a choice as to where you want your car serviced, and most of the time, you are not limited to only use the insurance companies preferred provider.
Take care and drive safe out there!
German Tech Auto Repair & Sales