web analytics

Tag Archive | "headlights"

Here comes the rain: Expert tips for wet weather driving


CAR-Here-comes-the-rain

(BPT) – When it comes to driving in the rain, windshield wipers, headlights and brakes will only get you so far. More than 1 million car crashes occur each year as a result of weather conditions, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Most of them have to do with wet roadways, and many of them could likely be prevented by the right set of tires.

As El Niño looms in the West, and the inevitable April showers approach elsewhere, drivers across the United States should turn their attention to the rubber that meets the proverbial—and also very literal—wet road.

Nearly a quarter of all car crashes are caused by weather, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Of those, nearly three quarters can be attributed to wet pavement. When roadways are slick, dangers such as skidding and hydroplaning quickly become concerns. Tires can be the best defense against such hazards, as a healthy, reliable set of tires will give your vehicle the traction it needs to safely stop and corner on slick roadways. Before the tires can do their job, drivers will need to take a few steps of their own.

Before you hit the road, know what to look for on your tires.

Tire tread helps to channel rainwater safely between your tires and the road – but only if there’s enough tread available to do so. When new, tire tread runs 9/32 of an inch deep. Tires are legally worn out with just 2/32 of an inch of tread remaining, but this doesn’t leave enough depth in wet conditions.

Tire Rack, America’s largest independent tire tester and consumer-direct source for tires, makes an even safer recommendation. “When rain is a concern, as it will be for much of the U.S. throughout the spring, drivers should replace their tires when they reach 4/32 of an inch of remaining tread depth,” says Woody Rogers, product information specialist at Tire Rack. “By the time you reach 2/32 of an inch, your tires won’t have enough tread to avoid hydroplaning.”

To make sure that your tread is deep enough to keep your tires firmly rooted on the surface of the road, Tire Rack recommends a simple quarter test. Place a quarter upside down into the grooves on your tires. If some part of George Washington’s head is covered by tread, then you have at least 4/32 of an inch left. “The difference between 2/32 of an inch and 4/32 is admittedly very small,” Rogers says, “but the impact on safety is quite large.”

If hydroplaning occurs, coast carefully.

Hydroplaning happens when water on a roadway and vehicle speed combine to cause one or more of your tires to lift from the surface of the road. When this happens, the vehicle’s steering wheel will likely jerk, and the vehicle could pull abruptly toward the puddle.

“Slowing down in rainy conditions is always a good idea, but it may not be enough for the surprise waiting up ahead. Having the appropriate tread depth is a must for preventing hydroplaning,” Rogers says. “If you do hydroplane, grasp the steering wheel firmly and avoid slamming on the brakes. Braking could end up worsening the skid, causing you to lose even more control of the vehicle.”

Driving in the rain is never fun, but with the right tires, it can at least be safer. When the rubber meets the road, make sure it’s up for the job. Tire Rack offers more expert tips and finds the right tires for your vehicle at www.tirerack.com.

Posted in Auto Life, FeaturedComments Off on Here comes the rain: Expert tips for wet weather driving

Make sure your lights shine bright


From the driver’s seat, you may not notice a light that isn’t working, so be sure to inspect your car’s lights at every oil change.(NAPS)—Making sure your headlights are in proper working order should be a top priority before any road trip—whether you are going on an afternoon drive or heading off for vacation.

“Lights play a major role in safe driving, as the chance of an accident increases if you can’t see or be seen,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.

Lights are normal-wear items that require periodic inspection and replacement. The lighting system provides nighttime visibility, signals and alerts other drivers, and supplies light for viewing instruments and the vehicle’s interior. From the driver’s seat, you may not notice a light that isn’t working, so be sure to inspect your car’s lights at every oil change. At the same time, inspect and replace wiper blades so you can see clearly when driving during rain showers.

In addition to replacing dimming, rapidly blinking and non-functioning lights, the following tips can help keep you safe:

• Keep headlights, taillights and signal lights clean. External dirt and debris can dim operational lights from being seen by others.

• Make sure that your head-lights are properly aimed. Mis-aimed headlights blind other drivers and reduce your ability to see the road.

• Don’t overdrive your headlights. You should be able to stop inside the illuminated area; otherwise, you are creating a blind crash area in front of your vehicle.

• If there is any doubt about whether or not your headlights should be on, turn them on. Lights not only help you see better in early twilight, they also make it easier for other drivers to see you.

About the Car Care Council

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign, promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of -the council’s “Car Care Guide” or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.

 

 

Posted in Auto LifeComments Off on Make sure your lights shine bright