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AAA offers tips for driving in heavy rain

With heavy rain and flooding expected throughout the Carolinas through Tuesday, AAA Carolinas is urging motorists to adhere to local authorities and weather warnings.

“We can’t stress enough the importance of staying away from floodwaters,” said Dave Parsons, president and CEO of AAA Carolinas. “Even a foot of water can prove to be dangerous.”

AAA Carolinas offers these recommendations:

  • Do not attempt to drive through flooded roads. Just a few inches of water can turn your vehicle into a boat and could put your life and the lives of those around you at risk. There is also a danger of asphyxiation if your tailpipe becomes filled with water. Turn around and find another way to get to your destination.  Pull over to a safe location if needed.
  • Slow down and increase following distances. Speed limits are set for ideal road conditions. When it rains, visibility is reduced and braking distances increase.
  • Slowing down in the rain also minimizes car repairs. Many motorists try to move fast through puddles, but it’s actually better for your car if you go slowly. Driving fast can force the water to splash up into your car’s undercarriage and cause damage. Your vehicle could suffer electrical problems and other damage caused by water. Many of the repairs involve sport utility vehicles because people mistakenly think SUVs are safe to drive through standing water.
  • Don’t drive distracted. Eliminate as many distractions behind the wheel, such as cellphone use.
  • Watch out for hydroplaning. No car is immune from hydroplaning on wet surfaces, including four-wheel-drive vehicles.
  • Alert drivers behind you that you’re slowing with your brake lights. Without anti-lock brakes, squeeze the brakes until they are about to lock up and then release. With anti-lock brakes, use the same move — but don’t pump the brakes, which would work against the operation of the ABS system. Slow down as you approach a pothole.
  • Buckle up, slow down, and keep a safe distance from the car in front of you.
AAA Carolinas, an affiliate of the American Automobile Association, is a not-for-profit organization that serves more than 2 million members and the public with travel, automobile and insurance services while being an advocate for the safety and security of all travelers.

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