July 9th, 2015 | Blog

Spring weather may be great for gardens, but the wet conditions that flowers love will also cause over a million traffic collisions each year. If you’re a Tucson CDL driver, you need to know how to safely handle such situations during your time on the road. When it comes to rain, safety begins before you drive, as you take steps to ensure visibility.

Slow down

One of the biggest safety risks in driving through rain is hydroplaning, where the tires rise up on a film of water. Even as little as 1/12 inch of water on the road forces your tires to displace a gallon of water per second to maintain contact with the road. To ensure your truck doesn’t hydroplane, you should reduce your speed to correspond with the amount of water on the roadway. For example, even at speeds as low as 35 mph, brand new tires can still have difficulty maintaining contact with the roadway.

Leave room

Another way to avoid hydroplaning is by leaving plenty of room between your truck and the other drivers. Remember, others traveling won’t be as experienced with driving long distances in rainy conditions. To stay safe, increase the following distance between your truck and the vehicle in front of you. You should also start to slow down early to stop for an intersection, make a turn or adjust to other traffic conditions.

Respond to a skid

Even if you’re taking all the necessary steps to stay safe in the rain, you may experience a skid. If you feel the truck beginning to skid, the worse thing you can do is panic. Instead, continue looking and steering in the direction you want the truck to go. At the same time, don’t slam your brakes, as this will make it more difficult to regain control of the truck.

Since 1991, HDS Truck Institute has proudly served the Southern Arizona community. Call (877) 205-2141 to learn more about CDL training in Tucson. Our graduates are working for many of the nation’s top over-the-road carriers.