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Sean Phillips

Wrath of Sandy Edition

By October 30, 2012

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Photo © The Weather Channel

"So we're not home and dry," said Arthur.
"We could not even be said," replied Ford, "to be home and vigorously towelling ourselves off.''

-Life, the Universe and Everything, by Douglas Adams

Well, I hope that things are returning to normal for my East Coast readers (and non-readers for that matter) after one heck of a punishing storm. As for me, here in Massachusetts we lost power for much of the day, which mostly meant that my newsletter for this week went out automatically before I had a chance to edit it. It turned out that we were pretty well prepared, largely thanks to my wife, for much worse weather than what we actually got.

Turns out that it's not even quite over yet. As I write this, the storm is looping up north through Pennsylvania on it's way to Canada, meaning that we're still expecting quite a bit of rain over the next few days. So it was quite nice to see an email today from Goodyear giving out some wet-weather driving tips:

  • Slow down. As rain falls, it mixes with grime and oils on the road surface, creating potential slick conditions that can lead to skids. The best way to avoid skidding is to slow down. Driving at a slower pace allows more of the tire's tread to make contact with the road, which leads to better traction.
  • Check your tires. Always check your tires before driving, including keeping them properly inflated. The correct tire pressure is specified by the vehicle manufacturer and is found on the door post, glove box or fuel door. The number listed on the sidewall of the tire is the maximum pressure, not the recommended pressure. And do check the tires' tread depth, as proper tread depth will also assist in helping to maintain contact with the road surface.
  • Keep your distance. Because more distance is typically required when braking on wet and slippery surfaces, it is important not to follow other vehicles too closely. Be sure that your vehicle's headlights, rear lights, brake lights and turn indicators are working, too.
  • Know when to stop driving. If the rain or other inclement weather becomes too severe, it may be best to simply pull over to a safe location and stop driving. Heavy rain can overload the wiper blades, allowing an almost continuous sheet of water to flow over the windshield. When visibility is so limited that the edges of the road or other vehicles cannot be seen at a safe distance, it is time to consider taking a break from driving.
  • Remember your own shoes. As your tires work outside the car to grip the road surface during wet and sloppy conditions, remember that the grip of your footwear inside the car is also important. Be careful of wet floor mats or wet soles on shoes or boots, as this can cause a driver's feet to slip on pedals.

Okay, so some of them are pretty standard, even kind of "duh", but there are some interesting ones as well. Of course it also helps to have a good set of all-season tires. So to everyone within range of this continuing storm - stay safe and happy driving!

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