The summer season is a time of warm weather and abundant sunshine, but it is also the time when sudden thunderstorms roll through the countryside. In Texas, the rainiest months are April, May and June, so now is the best time to ensure you're prepared for wet roads and lack of visibility while driving. When thunderstorms arrive, they can bring torrential downpours, hail and other hazards, reducing visibility to near zero and turning driving from pleasant to downright dangerous.
No matter where you live, it is important to prepare yourself, and your car, for those sudden summer thunderstorms. Watching the weather will get you only so far. If you want to stay safe out there, you need to be ready for anything. Here are some thunderstorm safety tips to get you started:
- Clean the interior and exterior of your windshield on a regular basis. You want your windows as clear as possible when those sudden downpours emerge.
- Watch out for hazy buildup that could impair your visibility. Smokers should take extra precautions to keep this haze at bay and maintain a clear line of sight to the road ahead.
- Test your headlights and taillights on a regular basis. You want to make sure you can see the road, and that other drivers can see you, when the rain begins.
- Turn on your headlights at the first sign of rain. If your windshield wipers are on, your headlights should be on as well.
- Check your windshield wipers for damage and replace the blades as needed. It is a good idea to buy new blades at the start of the summer season and again at the beginning of winter.
- Slow down as weather conditions deteriorate. It takes more time to stop on a wet roadway than a dry one, so adjust your speed accordingly.
- Maintain a safe distance between you and the car ahead. You should extend the distance between yourself and other cars on the road when the rain begins to fall. Slamming on the brakes in rainy weather can cause you to lose control of your vehicle, leading to a higher potential for wrecks.
- Make sure you have a fully-stocked emergency kit in your car. The emergency kit should include road flares or cones, an extra charger for your phone and a basic first aid kit.
- Know your limits and abilities. If you are having trouble seeing the road ahead, and the other vehicles, it is time to pull over and wait for the storm to dissipate. Pull as far off the road as possible, turn on your hazard lights and get ready to wait it out.
- Keep an eye on the sky. You can tell a lot about which way the storm is moving and when it might arrive by watching the sky. If your trip is not essential and a storm is blowing in, you might want to put off your errands until the heaviest weather has passed.
Summer thunderstorms are a fact of life, and those sudden downpours can make driving difficult and dangerous. The best defense against this common threat is preparation, and the more you know, the easier it will be to protect yourself, your passengers, your car and other drivers.
Keep Your Brakes Ready For Wet Weather
Whether you're starting to experience braking issues while driving or it's been awhile since you've had someone look at your brakes, now is a great time to make sure everything is good to go. Contact the NuBrakes team to schedule a brake diagnosis from one of our certified mobile brake techs in Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston or San Antonio!