(NewsUSA) - In the fall, when teenage drivers go back to school, wet and icy weather tails their back bumper.Inexperienced drivers facing slippery roads can make costly mistakes. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics, nearly one million vehicle accidents a year happen in wet weather.
Young drivers, as much as they might like the excuse, don't need to call in sick every time it rains or freezes. The experts at Bridgestone Firestone offer these tips to keep teenage drivers safe on wet and icy roads:
ˆ· Teens should "slow their roll." In wet or icy weather, safe driving means driving below the speed limit. Driving too quickly means a longer stopping distance, which can be dangerous on slippery roads. Driving slowly can also reduce the risk of hydroplaning.
ˆ· Teens should know when to use their brakes. In wet weather, slamming the brakes on a hydroplaning car can cause drivers to lose control. If drivers feel their cars begin to hyrdoplane, they shouldn't hit the brakes. They should just remove a foot from the accelerator and steer their cars while it gradually slows down. If drivers have a manual transmission, they can push in the clutch until they regain control of their cars.
In winter weather, drivers need to use their brakes more aggressively in emergencies. In a car with an Anti-Lock Brake System, hit the brakes hard, then hold them down. An ABS will let drivers steer their car while you brake.
ˆ· Take steps for safety. In dim conditions, drivers should put on their lights so they can be seen. If drivers are entering a turn, they should slow down and brake gently before they enter the turn, so the cars won't skid.
ˆ· Drive defensively. Plan the best route to the destination. Try to avoid hills, busy areas and bridges. Anticipate cars coming from side streets and allow extra distance between the vehicle and the one in front of the car. If someone is riding your bumper, don't speed up; drivers should maintain their pace and let the other car go around them.
As an extra safety precaution, drivers should store the name and telephone number of an emergency contact in their cell phones under the name "ICE."
This acronym stands for "in case of emergency" and helps rescue personnel quickly locate a friend or family member.
For more wet and winter weather driving tips from Bridgestone Firestone, visit TireSafety.com.