April Showers Bring Hydroplaning

Hydroplaning, which can be extremely dangerous, occurs when a thin sheet of water gets between your tires and the road. It can cause you to lose control of your vehicle.

  • If your car feels like it is gliding out of control, get a good grip on your steering wheel. Take your foot off the gas pedal. Do not stomp on the brake pedal, let the car slow down by itself. This will help prevent skidding and will assist you in regaining control of your vehicle.
  • Always control and adjust your speed according to road and weather conditions.
  • It’s essential to increase the space between you and the car in front of you. The distance and time required to safely stop your vehicle on a wet and slippery surface increases dramatically.
  • New York State Law requires headlights in all inclement weather.

In Slippery Conditions

  • Keep your distance.
  • Slow down, control your speed. Avoid fast accelerations.
  • Go easy on the brakes.
  • All moves should be slow and deliberate.
  • Be extra cautious on bridges and exit ramps.

Pothole Alert

Always be on the lookout for potholes as the temperature rises. Potholes can cause severe damage to your vehicle. Hitting a large pothole can also cause a serious injury to you and/or your passenger.

  • Maintain a slower speed than usual when potholes are visible. If you see a pothole repair crew, there probably will be a large number of potholes on the streets. If you see a particularly large or dangerous pothole, report the location to the Department of Transportation, and to your base, so other drivers can be alerted.
  • Pothole season usually means sun glare. When your vision is impaired by sun glare, use extra caution, especially when negotiating a turn in a pedestrian area.

Pedestrian Accidents

All vehicles must yield to all pedestrians at all times and locations. In NYC, millions of pedestrians cross intersections daily, at all hours of the day and night.

  • Avoid frightening or angering pedestrians by blowing your horn or moving at an excessive speed towards them. These actions can lead to someone banging on the hood of your vehicle or falling down and making a fraudulent claim.
  • Always call the police and make a report if you are involved in an incident or an accident with a pedestrian. Do not leave the scene or you can be arrested, even if you know your vehicle did not make contact with them.
  • Always anticipate unsafe acts by pedestrians observed talking on a phone, conversing with another pedestrian, eating, listening to headphones or just not paying attention to their surroundings while crossing an intersection.
  • Use extra caution if pedestrians are senior citizens. Their hearing and vision may be impaired.
  • Always anticipate pedestrians crossing in between double-parked vehicles.
  • Beware of pedestrians jaywalking in front of a bus loading passengers.
  • Please use extra caution as it begins to get dark out. Visibility is diminished and it takes time for your eyes to adjust to the change.
Article by Bertram Merling

Bertram Merling is the Loss Control Coordinator for the Hereford Insurance Company.

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