Storms to affect Ontario cottage country drive
Presenter, Beat the Traffic
Friday, July 19, 2013, 11:20 - Friday afternoons in the summer mean one thing for much of the southern Ontario commuter crowd looking to get a head start on the weekend: Endless lines of traffic. With the threat of severe weather for the drive, here are some things to consider.
The drive to cottage country is often aggravating with heavy volume delays for miles and the task of beating the rush seems impossible. Add severe weather to the mix and an aggravating drive can quickly escalate to dangerous.
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When a severe line of storms pass through, the situation on the roads can change very quickly from a sunny cruise on the highway to a treacherous downpour. The number one thing you can do behind the wheel to ensure your safety is to reduce your speed to match the weather conditions. You also want to increase the space between your vehicle and the one in front of you so that you are not dealing with vehicle spray from other drivers. Downpours don’t just mean reduced visibility, but this greatly increases your risk of hydroplaning your vehicle.
Hydroplaning is the loss of traction between your tires and the road because of water. If this happens do not panic. Do not suddenly brake or accelerate. The Ministry of Transportation says that smooth steering, acceleration and braking will greatly reduce the risk of a skid.
Maintaining your vehicle is also greatly important to your safety when behind the wheel in heavy rain. You should make sure the quality of your tires are checked, which means making sure they have a good amount of tread and are properly inflated. In addition the MTO recommends checking that your wiper blades are in good condition before hitting the road. If they don’t clean your windshield without streaking then they need to be replaced.
If you are caught in a situation where visibility is greatly reduced due to a storm and you are not comfortable then the best solution is to pull over when safe to do so. Make sure your 4 ways are on so that you are visible to other drivers.