One of the challenges and charms of living in Texas is the constantly changing weather. This weekend, December 2 and 3, there is more inclement weather on the horizon. Here in thunderstorm country, every driver needs to be prepared for rainy conditions starting with light showers all the way to near-flash flooding conditions.
What can you do to be prepared? First are all the obvious but essential driving tips: wear your seatbelt, and check to see that your window-wipers are up to the challenge of inclement weather. Be sure to check the weather before you leave. Even if it doesn’t look like rain right now, the weather can change dramatically in a moment.
Don’t forget that even if you’re driving slowly and carefully, it’s still possible to hydroplane. If that does happen, let off the gas and gently swerve your car forward. Depending on your car’s model, slamming on the brakes could make your situation worse; if you need to break just pump your brakes lightly until you regain control of your vehicle.
If your car is equipped with anti-lock brakes, then the brakes are safe to use. The anti-lock brake function will have the brake automatically pumping for you which means that the brake will feel differently under your foot than it normally does. Don’t worry – it’s not that the brake isn’t working; it’s actually doing exactly what it’s supposed to.
Another overlooked danger is skidding. Skidding can happen on ice or even during gentle rain fall. Light rain can be the most dangerous because the water mixes with the oil on the road. If your car skids, the recovery is similar to that of hydroplaning. The main difference: when steering, turn the wheel in the same direction as your car is skidding. Even though it’s counterintuitive, it’s actually what’s best.
Look out this weekend for showers staring Thursday night and turning to all out rain on Friday. The weather kicks up with more rain and thunder on Saturday, but current weather predictions have the rain winding down on Sunday. Don’t forget to-double check the weather before you leave to get more up-to-date projections.