SC Department Public Safety releases driving tips for inclement weather

Turn around; don’t drown (TADD)

Prepare for standing water. Never drive through flooded areas, even if you are familiar with the roads. The area of roadway you cannot see beneath the water may be washed out or the water may conceal debris, tree branches or even power lines. Flooded roadways may be hard to spot in low light conditions.

What Can I Do to Avoid Getting Caught is This Situation?

Most flood-related deaths and injuries could be avoided if people who come upon areas covered with water followed this simple advice: Turn Around; Don’t Drown.

The reason that so many people drown during flooding is because few of them realize the incredible power of water. A mere six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. It takes only two feet of rushing water to carry away most vehicles. This includes pickups and SUVs.

Don’t “Cruise” thru the rain

Avoid “Cruise Control” during rain/wet roads. The vehicle reacts to the condition(s) present and when a vehicle hits a puddle of water the cruise control reacts as designed and may result in the driver losing control. To prevent loss of traction, the driver may need to reduce the car’s speed by lifting off the accelerator, which cannot be accomplished when cruise control is engaged.

Slow Down and Leave Room

When driving in wet-weather conditions, it is important to concentrate fully on every aspect of driving. Avoiding cruise control will allow the driver more options to choose from when responding to a potential loss-of-traction situation, thus maximizing your safety.

Slowing down during wet weather driving can be critical to reducing a car’s chance of hydroplaning, when the tires rise up on a film of water. With as little as 1/12 inch of water on the road, tires have to displace a gallon of water per second to keep the rubber meeting the road. Drivers should 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.

To reduce chances of hydroplaning, drivers should slow down, avoid hard braking or turning sharply and drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you. Also, it’s important for motorists to allow 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.

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