Slippery When Wet (Driving on Wet Leaves)Posted September 6, 2020 11:23 AM
When the leaves fall, you might take a sightseeing trip to see them at peak color. Or you may simply live in a spot where there are a lot of trees. When those leaves get wet, you'd be surprised to learn just how slippery they can be.
We all know ice is slippery to drive on. What causes tires to slip on ice is a thin layer of water that comes between the road and your tires. Wet leaves can have the same effect. The surfaces of leaves are super slick when they're dry, even worse when you add a little moisture. There's one other thing about leaves. They are smaller than each tire's footprint, so your tread grips the pavement with uneven traction.
One study showed that your stopping distance can more than double on a surface covered with wet leaves when compared to that same road when it's dry. Double! That can spell trouble. So if you find yourself heading into an area with wet leaves on the road, slow down before you get into a jam. If you do start skidding, use the same driving techniques as you would on ice. Let off the accelerator, resist jamming on the brakes and steer into the skid. Again, speed can get you into trouble fast on a slippery surface.
One thing that can help is having tires that are appropriate for the way you drive and the places you travel. Your service advisor can offer suggestions for tires that are right for you. Have a technician examine your tread depth and the condition of your tires' rubber. Sun can break down rubber over time, and age can cause tires to fail, even if their tread seems to be deep enough.
Your tire is the point of traction between your vehicle and the road. Uncontrolled skids spell trouble and danger. Slow down when you see wet leaves on the road. They can make traction disappear before you know it.
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Tim Freemantle, 09/07/2020
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