GSP urges caution while driving in severe weather

GSP urges caution while driving in severe weather
Cars traveling at night (Source: WALB)
Andrew McKenzie, Corporal GSP Post 40 (Source: WALB)
Andrew McKenzie, Corporal GSP Post 40 (Source: WALB)
Trooper pulls over someone (Source: WALB)
Trooper pulls over someone (Source: WALB)
Hail on a sidewalk (Source: WALB)
Hail on a sidewalk (Source: WALB)

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - With all the wet weather peaking at the start of rush hour, Georgia State Patrol troopers are urging drivers to be safe.

GSP Corporal Andrew McKenzie said it is imperative drivers make sure their windshield wipers are working, turn on their headlights and slow down.

Do not text and drive.

He cautions travelers to leave on time, so they don't feel rushed to get to their next destination.

And, of course, be a defensive driver and look out for others on the roads.

"Main thing is slowing down and watching out for each other, and look down the road," explained McKenzie. "Stay off the cell phones, don't do any texting or anything, and keep your eyes on the roadway. "

He also urges folks to be sure their headlights are working in advance.

It only takes a few seconds with the wet weather for your car to suddenly become out of control.

Hydroplaning can be deadly if you are not careful.

Troopers caution drivers to slow down, making their commutes from work and school.

This is the best way to prevent hydroplaning.

If your car does become out of control you do not want to hit the brakes or hit the gas pedal.

This will cause too much friction making the situation worse since hydroplaning is a loss of traction.

"If water is on the road we should slow down even slower. We don't want to hit the water at a fast rate of speed because if we do, that's when the vehicle is going to hydroplane," said McKenzie, "And once it hydroplanes you are going to lose control of it and so you're going to wreck and we don't know what's going to happen."

McKenzie said it is a good idea to follow the 12-second rule. Look at where you think you'll be in 12 seconds and start to take action in the immediate.

Lastly, when thinking of severe weather we think strong winds, heavy rains and lightning, but hail is another form of precipitation that can create a lot of damage.

If you are driving when hail starts, you need to be extra cautious.

McKenzie said first, you must slow down.

Hail can break windows or damage your vehicle.

If you must keep driving, it is best to keep your car angled to hit the hail head on.

Windshields are reinforced to withstand forward driving and possibly pelting objects, unlike side and rear windows.

"The safest way to travel in inclement weather is to drive slower than you normally drive. If at all possible, get off the roadway if it does start hailing," stated McKenzie.

And if you do not need to be out driving or can wait, do so. The life you save could just be your own.

Copyright 2018 WALB. All rights reserved.