Sponsored Content by Roger Beasley Mazda, Written by Chelsea Bancroft, Photo courtesy of Mazda.
Hurricane season is upon us and it’s forecasted to be a very active one! While we may not get the brunt force of hurricanes in Austin, we still can get severe thunderstorms and lots of rain! We care about your safety at Roger Beasley Mazda, and want to share these safety tips for driving in severe weather:
Find Shelter and Pull Over
The safest thing to do in a thunderstorm or severe weather is to find somewhere to safely take shelter and wait out the storm. Ideally a rest stop or gas station, but if you do have to pull over on the side of the road, make sure you’re well cleared off the driving lane and have your flashers on so that other vehicles can see you.
Slow Down and Drive Steadily
Unfortunately, it’s not always an option to pull over, so if you find yourself driving in heavy rain, the best thing to do is safely slow down. Rain makes the road have less traction, so you will need to be more aware of your movements while driving. Avoid any sharp turns or quick starts and stops. Situations like these are why you want to make sure your tires are well maintained and have plenty of tread left on them to help your car grip the road better.
Turn on Your Lights
Rain can significantly decrease visibility while driving, so be sure to turn on your headlights. This will also help other vehicles see you. If visibility is really bad, consider turning on your flashers as well. Note: While it is legal in Texas, driving with your hazard lights in the rain is actually illegal in some states, so double check before doing so.
Keep Your Windows Clear
Turn on your windshield wipers. While obvious, this shows the importance of making sure your wipers are in good, working order before you find yourself in a situation where you really need them. If your windows start to fog, be sure to turn on your defroster to keep them clear.
Keep Space Between You and Other Cars
Because of the low traction on the wet roads, it will take you longer to brake, so keep a good amount of distance between you and the car in front of you.
You shouldn’t ever be on your phone while driving, but especially not during a thunderstorm. Turn down loud music and eliminate any other distractions so you can focus on driving as safely as possible.
Beware of Standing Water + Flooding
If you see standing water or large puddles forming on the road, exercise extreme caution when driving through. You never know how deep they actually are, or what could be hidden underneath the water (like debris that can damage tires and your car as a whole). If there is true flooding, the safest choice is to not try and drive through it. Even just 6 inches of water will reach the bottom of most vehicles and can cause loss of control. One foot of water will float many vehicles. Be safe, turn around don’t drown.
If you need maintenance or a new vehicle, Roger Beasley Mazda is always here to help! Call 866-779-8409 or visit us online at rogerbeasleymazda.com for more information.
Chelsea Bancroft is the strategic-partnerships and social-media manager at Roger Beasley Mazda and a blogger at onechelofanadventure.com.