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What can you do to prevent skidding on wet pavement?

Winter is here, but snow and ice aren't the only conditions you should look out for. Wet driving conditions can be just as dangerous, and they pose a higher risk when cold temperatures are added to the mix.

Wet pavement alone leads to around 1.2 million traffic crashes a year. That's without considering the potential for ice on the roads or snow or sleet that could cover your vehicle or make it hard to drive. So, what can you do to stay safer and prevent an accident?

Start by looking at your vehicle's condition. If you haven't replaced your windshield wipers, consider doing so before the winter or before the first snowfall. The wipers need to push all the rain out of the way when they cross your windshield. If they aren't, you could find yourself in a situation where you can't see out your window.

Next, make sure your tires have enough tread. If they don't, then there aren't any pathways for the water to take. Here's how tread works: When water is under a tire, the hollowed-out designs on the tires literally funnel the water away from the tire and give it extra traction. Without those gaps, your tire doesn't get enough traction and has a higher potential for skidding or sliding. Check your tire pressure, too; if your tire pressure is too low, then the tires may not work correctly.

If you're hurt because someone hasn't taken these easy steps and slides through an intersection or into a crosswalk, it's possible to file a claim for compensation. Everyone needs to take responsibility for safety during the winter, whether it's snowing or raining outside. Pedestrian safety should always be a priority; drivers need to pay attention and slow down in poor weather conditions.

Source: AAA Exchange, "Wet Weather Driving Tips," accessed Dec. 13, 2016

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