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Spring may not have officially sprung, but those April showers sure decide to come early. All across our beautiful country, people are finding themselves in the midst, or mist, of some pretty precarious precipitation. And at Caliber, we feel that calls for some reminders on how to drive defensively and stay safe on those slick streets.

As a general rule of thumb: you should always be driving on the defensive. Your safety starts before you ever get behind the wheel: always double-check your tires, your wipers, fluids, headlights, etc. Doing a once over can keep you from getting caught in a slippery situation.

It may seem like we touch on this a little too often, but trust us, there’s a reason. Proper tire pressure with proper tread depth is one of the most crucial ways to guarantee good grip on the wet roads. Remember the Lincoln trick: put the penny in the tread face down, and if you can see the top of ole Abe’s head, it’s time for new tread.

Now, we know cruise control is there for a reason, but whether you’re on your way to work, or taking a weekend road trip, you’ll want to weather the storm and maintain as much control as possible. Cruise control, while convenient, increases your chances of losing control in wet conditions due to delayed reaction times and constant power to the accelerator.

Remember driver’s education when they taught you to always stay “two car lengths away”? Well, when it rains, forget it. In times like these, time is all you need. Try to stay a minimum of five seconds behind the car ahead of you. This may seem excessive, but it’s not for you; we know if the car ahead of you slams their brakes, you’ll react quickly, but your car may need a little leeway to finally come to a halt.

Things may get a little hairy out there, but your job is to focus on the road ahead. Remember: if you stay calm, you’ll stay safe. If you hit a sneaky patch of sitting water, your car may hydroplane – it’s important you don’t jerk the wheel or try to adjust. Often, this leads to overcorrecting and veering off, and we wouldn’t want that.

We understand driving in the elements can make you feel out of your element. But we hope this helps you feel a little more comfortable braving the storms. As always, we wish you nothing but safe travels, but if you have a little slip-up, please come see us so we can restore the rhythm to your life.