Get a Grip -- Tips for Safer Driving on Wet Roads

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Posted: Monday, May 5, 2014 8:50 am

(NewsUSA) - It's that time of the year again -- time for wetter roads and, unfortunately, more accidents.

Russell Shepherd, a mechanical engineer for Michelin North America and self-proclaimed "tire nerd," has certainly earned his informal title as evident by his 15 years of driving in almost every type of weather condition imaginable. Most concerning for him -- wet weather.

"Most people don't realize how much wet roads affect their driving," says Shepherd. "When roads become wet, it takes longer to stop and more time to react, making it more important than normal to pay attention to your car and other drivers."

So, what can the average driver do? Shepard suggests getting to the bottom of things first -- with the tires. Here are some tips:

* Check all tires regularly for tread wear and pressure. Changes in season and temperatures make it a good time to check both.

* Be cautious from the start. As soon as it starts raining, traction can become negatively affected. It only takes a small amount of water to mix with oil and dust to create a slick surface.

* Find the right tire. A tire with a grip designed to handle wet roads, such as the new Michelin Premier A/S tire, can make a big difference. This tire has a unique rubber compound engineered to maximize traction, and two sets of grooves to help channel water away from the tires to maintain that traction. The second set of grooves is hidden when the tire is new, but emerges as the tire wears. This distinctive design feature maintains the tire's ability to funnel water away, even when worn, which prolongs the life of the tire and enhances driver safety.

* Get in touch with your car. Take time to learn how your car responds on wet roads. Is the steering looser than normal? Are you sliding when you brake? Do you notice the ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) kicking in? If so, your tires could be losing their grip. Slow down and get your tires checked as soon as possible.

For more information about wet-weather driving and choosing the right tire for your car, visit www.michelinman.com/.

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