Most of us in the U.S. experience rainy conditions at some point during the year and it is important to know how to drive and handle your vehicle in such situations. Driving in such circumstances can be dangerous but there are certain things you can do to prevent something bad happening. Things to consider are your tread, tire type, and how you drive in these conditions in general. The tires are an important component because they are the only part to make direct contact with the surface of the road. If you notice an issue with your vehicle, make sure to bring it in as soon as possible.
Why Tire Tread should not be Ignored
The tread on your tires is extremely important. Tread helps your tires adhere to the road, especially during the rain or snow. After a lot of time spent driving down the road, the tread on your tires can start to wear away, meaning it is probably time to get a new set of tires. If you are unsure if you are in the market for new tires the first thing you should check is your tread depth. Do this by using a tread depth gage or you can also use a penny. Ideally, the tread should be 1/16 of an inch deep. Without proper tire tread, driving in any conditions can be dangerous and you are more prone to a flat or blown tire. To avoid this consider checking your tire tread once a month.
Improve the Traction on the Tires
When your tires or wet they can skid or hydroplane during situations where the road’s surface has accumulated a film or water. Your tires cannot channel the water away through the treads, causing the tires to lose traction. However, there are precautions you can take to keep yourself safe during wet conditions. One thing you should never do is drive on wet surfaces with bald tires. When the tread on your tires is worn down it cannot grip to the road as well. If the roads are wet then you should reduce your speed and extend the normal safe distance margin between you and other vehicles. Since it is harder to slow down and stop during these conditions, keep in mind the three-second rule to brake completely. Avoid using your cruise control in wet weather. If your tires lose traction while driving, it is possible the vehicle will accelerate because the computer reads a reduction in rpm, making for an even more dangerous situation.
Choosing the Right Tires for You
In general, wider tires will perform better in wet conditions when compared to more narrow tires, but it can also depend on the tread pattern. Wide tires can easily trap water underneath while driving down the road making efficient water removal channels also known as sipes. Narrow tires can get away with having fewer sipes because they are not as inclined to trap water underneath and because they have a higher contact pressure and can move the water out of the way. Always be informed of the condition of your tires so you can be safe in poor road conditions and improve the quality of your ride.