Lexington Emergency Management encourages drivers to use caution on the roads as rain approaches the state for the first time in quite a while.
Oil and grease build-up on the highways mixed with rain always create slick road conditions, but due to the extended period of time since the last rain, this problem will be much worse than usual.
The oil and water mixture causes the pavement to be extremely slippery until the oily coating is washed away. However, due to the lack of rain in recent weeks, this oil and grease build-up will be quite a bit heavier than usual and will take much longer to wash away. Drivers should be aware that roads and highways will be considerably more dangerous than usual over the next few days.
If you are driving on a wet road and find yourself starting to slide or skid, the worst thing you can do is panic.
- Try to stay calm and understand that the procedures for avoiding an accident are similar to those when driving on snow or ice.
- If you start to fishtail, steer into the slide rather than away from it, and take your foot off the gas (but don’t slam on the brakes).
- If you have anti-lock brakes on your car, once you regain control, press down firmly on the brakes to slow yourself down.
- If you have an older car that doesn’t have anti-lock brakes, pump the brakes steadily when you have regained traction. It’s also a good idea to flip on your blinkers so people know that they should avoid your vehicle as best they can.
Some things to remember:
- Slow Down – As rain falls, it mixes with grime and oil on the road creating slick conditions perfect for skids. The best way to avoid skidding is to slow down. Driving at a slower pace allows more of the tire’s tread to make contact with the road, which leads to better traction.
- Keep a Safe Distance – It takes about three times longer to break on wet roads than on dry roads. Since more distance is required to brake, it is important not to tailgate. Keep more than two car lengths between you and the vehicle in front of you.
- Recover from Hydroplaning – When it rains, water creates a barrier between the road and your tires. The liquid film that forms can cause you to lose traction and glide or hydroplane across the water’s surface. If this happens, do not brake. It is better to take your foot off the gas, hold the steering wheel in place, and lightly apply the brakes. If you have a manual transmission, push in the clutch and let the car slow down on its own.