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Driving During a Downpour

[:es]Driving-Rain-Florida

There’s no doubt about it – spring has been in full force for awhile now here in central Texas. Like the fall, it’s a mercurial time where the weather is concerned: a perfect, sunny 72 degrees one day, steamy and humid the next, followed by torrential rainstorms (all this within the same week, mind you.) It’s the last that concerns most drivers. Although we desperately need every drop of rain we can get, often the downpours happen in the wrong places – namely, not over Lake Travis in the middle of the night, but rather over I-35 and Mopac, during Austin’s morning and evening commutes. When this rain occurs, the whole game of driving changes, and since the vast majority of our days throughout the year are hot and dry, we often forget the new rules. With storms forecasted over the next week, take a minute to brush up on these rainy day driving tips:

Drive slow. We’ll start with the most obvious. We always advise to go the speed limit, but depending on the severity of the rain you make need to take it down 5-10 MPH or more. Stormy days are the time to become hyper-aware of your surroundings – slick roads make it extra important to keep adequate distance between you and the driver in front of you. Yes, this means you’ll probably get cut off by more reckless drivers changing lanes, so that you’ll continually have to slow down to allow a safe distance to open up again, but the minor inconvenience is certainly worth it. In order to accommodate these speed changes, avoid using cruise control.

Be aware of hydroplaning. Hydroplaning occurs when water builds up in front of the tires before the car’s weight can push it out of the way. This causes your car to skid uncontrollably. To try and avoid this, don’t slam on your breaks – rather, alternate applying and releasing the breaks. Never hit the gas hard when taking off from a stoplight: accelerate slowly. Finally, be sure to slow down amply when making turns. If you do start to hydroplane, it’s also important not to jerk the steering wheel – just release the gas and steer straight until you regain control.

Watch for water on the road. In central Texas, flash flooding is a major problem. There’s a good reason for those low water crossing warning signs. Water can make a road impassable in a matter of minutes, so when in doubt…turn around. Find an alternate route, or wait it out. Water often builds up along the sides of highways and curbs in residential areas, meaning if you’re in the lane near the shoulder you run the risk of hitting pockets of deep water that can spray up, temporarily blocking your view or even worse, causing you to hydroplane. So once again, go slow.

Finally, don’t forget to turn your headlights on and keep the AC pointed at your windshield to avoid fogging. If it’s raining so hard you can’t even see the car ahead of you, consider pulling over to wait it out. It probably won’t be long – after all, as the old saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait 5 minutes.” Rainstorms may not last long, but they do make driving much higher risk, so be careful out there!

[:en]Driving-Rain-Florida

There’s no doubt about it – spring has been in full force for awhile now here in central Texas. Like the fall, it’s a mercurial time where the weather is concerned: a perfect, sunny 72 degrees one day, steamy and humid the next, followed by torrential rainstorms (all this within the same week, mind you.) It’s the last that concerns most drivers. Although we desperately need every drop of rain we can get, often the downpours happen in the wrong places – namely, not over Lake Travis in the middle of the night, but rather over I-35 and Mopac, during Austin’s morning and evening commutes. When this rain occurs, the whole game of driving changes, and since the vast majority of our days throughout the year are hot and dry, we often forget the new rules. With storms forecasted over the next week, take a minute to brush up on these rainy day driving tips:

Drive slow. We’ll start with the most obvious. We always advise to go the speed limit, but depending on the severity of the rain you make need to take it down 5-10 MPH or more. Stormy days are the time to become hyper-aware of your surroundings – slick roads make it extra important to keep adequate distance between you and the driver in front of you. Yes, this means you’ll probably get cut off by more reckless drivers changing lanes, so that you’ll continually have to slow down to allow a safe distance to open up again, but the minor inconvenience is certainly worth it. In order to accommodate these speed changes, avoid using cruise control.

Be aware of hydroplaning. Hydroplaning occurs when water builds up in front of the tires before the car’s weight can push it out of the way. This causes your car to skid uncontrollably. To try and avoid this, don’t slam on your breaks – rather, alternate applying and releasing the breaks. Never hit the gas hard when taking off from a stoplight: accelerate slowly. Finally, be sure to slow down amply when making turns. If you do start to hydroplane, it’s also important not to jerk the steering wheel – just release the gas and steer straight until you regain control.

Watch for water on the road. In central Texas, flash flooding is a major problem. There’s a good reason for those low water crossing warning signs. Water can make a road impassable in a matter of minutes, so when in doubt…turn around. Find an alternate route, or wait it out. Water often builds up along the sides of highways and curbs in residential areas, meaning if you’re in the lane near the shoulder you run the risk of hitting pockets of deep water that can spray up, temporarily blocking your view or even worse, causing you to hydroplane. So once again, go slow.

Finally, don’t forget to turn your headlights on and keep the AC pointed at your windshield to avoid fogging. If it’s raining so hard you can’t even see the car ahead of you, consider pulling over to wait it out. It probably won’t be long – after all, as the old saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait 5 minutes.” Rainstorms may not last long, but they do make driving much higher risk, so be careful out there!

[:de]Driving-Rain-Florida

There’s no doubt about it – spring has been in full force for awhile now here in central Texas. Like the fall, it’s a mercurial time where the weather is concerned: a perfect, sunny 72 degrees one day, steamy and humid the next, followed by torrential rainstorms (all this within the same week, mind you.) It’s the last that concerns most drivers. Although we desperately need every drop of rain we can get, often the downpours happen in the wrong places – namely, not over Lake Travis in the middle of the night, but rather over I-35 and Mopac, during Austin’s morning and evening commutes. When this rain occurs, the whole game of driving changes, and since the vast majority of our days throughout the year are hot and dry, we often forget the new rules. With storms forecasted over the next week, take a minute to brush up on these rainy day driving tips:

Drive slow. We’ll start with the most obvious. We always advise to go the speed limit, but depending on the severity of the rain you make need to take it down 5-10 MPH or more. Stormy days are the time to become hyper-aware of your surroundings – slick roads make it extra important to keep adequate distance between you and the driver in front of you. Yes, this means you’ll probably get cut off by more reckless drivers changing lanes, so that you’ll continually have to slow down to allow a safe distance to open up again, but the minor inconvenience is certainly worth it. In order to accommodate these speed changes, avoid using cruise control.

Be aware of hydroplaning. Hydroplaning occurs when water builds up in front of the tires before the car’s weight can push it out of the way. This causes your car to skid uncontrollably. To try and avoid this, don’t slam on your breaks – rather, alternate applying and releasing the breaks. Never hit the gas hard when taking off from a stoplight: accelerate slowly. Finally, be sure to slow down amply when making turns. If you do start to hydroplane, it’s also important not to jerk the steering wheel – just release the gas and steer straight until you regain control.

Watch for water on the road. In central Texas, flash flooding is a major problem. There’s a good reason for those low water crossing warning signs. Water can make a road impassable in a matter of minutes, so when in doubt…turn around. Find an alternate route, or wait it out. Water often builds up along the sides of highways and curbs in residential areas, meaning if you’re in the lane near the shoulder you run the risk of hitting pockets of deep water that can spray up, temporarily blocking your view or even worse, causing you to hydroplane. So once again, go slow.

Finally, don’t forget to turn your headlights on and keep the AC pointed at your windshield to avoid fogging. If it’s raining so hard you can’t even see the car ahead of you, consider pulling over to wait it out. It probably won’t be long – after all, as the old saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait 5 minutes.” Rainstorms may not last long, but they do make driving much higher risk, so be careful out there!

[:fr]Driving-Rain-Florida

There’s no doubt about it – spring has been in full force for awhile now here in central Texas. Like the fall, it’s a mercurial time where the weather is concerned: a perfect, sunny 72 degrees one day, steamy and humid the next, followed by torrential rainstorms (all this within the same week, mind you.) It’s the last that concerns most drivers. Although we desperately need every drop of rain we can get, often the downpours happen in the wrong places – namely, not over Lake Travis in the middle of the night, but rather over I-35 and Mopac, during Austin’s morning and evening commutes. When this rain occurs, the whole game of driving changes, and since the vast majority of our days throughout the year are hot and dry, we often forget the new rules. With storms forecasted over the next week, take a minute to brush up on these rainy day driving tips:

Drive slow. We’ll start with the most obvious. We always advise to go the speed limit, but depending on the severity of the rain you make need to take it down 5-10 MPH or more. Stormy days are the time to become hyper-aware of your surroundings – slick roads make it extra important to keep adequate distance between you and the driver in front of you. Yes, this means you’ll probably get cut off by more reckless drivers changing lanes, so that you’ll continually have to slow down to allow a safe distance to open up again, but the minor inconvenience is certainly worth it. In order to accommodate these speed changes, avoid using cruise control.

Be aware of hydroplaning. Hydroplaning occurs when water builds up in front of the tires before the car’s weight can push it out of the way. This causes your car to skid uncontrollably. To try and avoid this, don’t slam on your breaks – rather, alternate applying and releasing the breaks. Never hit the gas hard when taking off from a stoplight: accelerate slowly. Finally, be sure to slow down amply when making turns. If you do start to hydroplane, it’s also important not to jerk the steering wheel – just release the gas and steer straight until you regain control.

Watch for water on the road. In central Texas, flash flooding is a major problem. There’s a good reason for those low water crossing warning signs. Water can make a road impassable in a matter of minutes, so when in doubt…turn around. Find an alternate route, or wait it out. Water often builds up along the sides of highways and curbs in residential areas, meaning if you’re in the lane near the shoulder you run the risk of hitting pockets of deep water that can spray up, temporarily blocking your view or even worse, causing you to hydroplane. So once again, go slow.

Finally, don’t forget to turn your headlights on and keep the AC pointed at your windshield to avoid fogging. If it’s raining so hard you can’t even see the car ahead of you, consider pulling over to wait it out. It probably won’t be long – after all, as the old saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather in Texas, wait 5 minutes.” Rainstorms may not last long, but they do make driving much higher risk, so be careful out there!

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