I’m a motors expert – you must follow 9 safety checks when driving in wind & rain

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DRIVING in the wind and rain can be scary for motorists.

And with more bad storms predicted across the United States, experts warn that drivers should try not to venture out in bad weather.

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Hazardous weather conditions create low visibility for driversCredit: AFP

However, if you must travel, StressFreeCarRental has provided nine safety tips from a motors expert that you should always follow to keep yourself and your vehicle as protected as possible.

CHECK YOUR TIRE TREADS AND WINDSHIELD WIPERS

If you have to go out in rainy weather, making sure your tire treads and wipers aren’t worn down is critical.

State laws require that drivers have a tire tread of 2/32 of an inch, but in bad weather, the more tire tread the better.

Consumer Reports writes that having more than 4/32 of an inch of tread can save drivers in rainy and snowy weather by improving stopping distance and improving vehicle control by 33 percent.

Windshield wipers are also critical for clearing off driver’s front and back windows to create as much visibility as possible.

MAKE SURE YOUR PHONE BATTERY IS CHARGED

Always have a phone charging cable available in your car, especially in bad weather.

If you are in an accident while driving, it’s important to be able to contact roadside assistance.

Being lost in bad weather can be treacherous, and if you keep your phone battery charged you can usually have access to maps or outside help.

“Bad weather can not only impact the performance of the car on the road but also the drivers too – so it’s important to take all of the necessary precautions in order to minimize accidents and such like,” said a spokesperson for StressFreeCarRental.com.

ASK YOURSELF IF THE JOURNEY IS REALLY NECESSARY

While sometimes people are forced to drive in bad weather, it’s important to ask yourself how critical your journey really is.

If it can wait a day, or even a few hours, until bad weather passes, then it should wait.

PREPARE FOR EMERGENCIES

Always keep emergency supplies at the ready in your car. This can include things like an extra water supply, no-prep needed foods, a warm blanket, and a first aid kit.

It should also include car necessities like jumper cables, a flashlight, and a spare tire.

WATCH YOUR SPEED

Driving the speed limit becomes even more important in instances of bad weather.

Wet weather can decrease your ability to brake quickly, and driving too fast increases your risk of aquaplaning.

Keep a safe distance between yourself and all other cars on the road to avoid any crashes.

DRIVE A WELL MAINTAINED CAR

On top of keeping tire tread and windshield wipers maintained, any car you take out in bad weather should be up to date on servicing, have full fuel and oil, and be washed frequently.

BE AWARE OF AQUAPLANING

When roads fill with water, that water can get under your tires and send your car for a swim.

When you aquaplane, your car becomes nearly impossible to control. If you do end up aquaplaning, never hit your brakes.

Instead, let up on the gas and follow the road as much as possible.

To avoid aquaplaning, drive slowly, don’t overuse your brakes, try to follow the tracks of vehicles in front of you, and turn off cruise control.

MONITOR YOUR VISIBILITY

Having your headlights turned on in bad weather will help to increase your visibility.

Make sure you an always see the lights of the car ahead of you, and if your visibility is ever near 0, consider pulling over for a break and letting the weather lighten up.

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AVOID OVERTAKING OTHER VEHICLES

Trying to pass other vehicles in windy and rainy weather can be dangerous, especially if the weather picks up and sends your car into the car next to you.

A large pool of water or gust of wind may make you lose control and run other drivers off of the road.

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