The Slippery When Wet Road Sign

by | Dec 8, 2020 | Traffic School


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The Slippery When Wet Road Sign: A Simple Guide

Driving on slick roads can result in a serious accident. Even the best drivers can be vulnerable to a wreck if they’re not aware of road conditions or the many threats that driving on a wet road can present.

Certain surfaces are especially slick, which is why you’ll notice a slippery when wet road sign specifically placed on various roads or parts of a highway.

Read on to learn more about this sign and what conditions can cause the most dangerous wet roads.

Recognizing the Slippery When Wet Road Sign

You’ve probably passed it a thousand times and didn’t even realize what the slippery when wet road sign looks like. This diamond-shaped sign features an icon of a car with two swerving lines underneath which represent the car possible losing control due to slick conditions.

This sign is put in place to warn drivers when there may be some slippery, slick conditions ahead. You’ll usually find the sign installed near a bridge or overpass. These areas tend to be slicker than the rest of the pavement during freezing or wet weather.


When the weather gets cold, bridges tend to freeze first and thaw out last, making them especially dangerous to drive on. You might also notice additional signs underneath the slippery when wet road sign . They are there to explain the reason why a specific section of the road or bridge is more slippery than others.

These extra signs contain information to warn drivers of additional threats. Words like ICE, STEEL DECK, or EXCESS OIL are there to warn you about the possibilities of slick road conditions. Look for this extra info so you can understand the causes of slippery roadways and proceed with caution.

If you see a slippery when wet road sign during poor driving conditions, start slowing down immediately. Ease your foot off the accelerator to slow down gradually. Braking suddenly or turning sharply could send your vehicle into a dangerous skid.  

How to Drive Safely on Wet or Slick Roads

Rain can make it difficult to see clearly while driving, which already poses a threat to safety. However, even if the rain has stopped, the wet roadways can be perilous, so drive with caution. Snow and ice can also create dangerous, slick conditions for drivers. 

Thankfully, there are some actions you can do to increase your chances of getting to your destination safely. First, make sure that your brakes and tires are in good condition and that your vehicle is winter-ready. 

Look at your tire tread. Does it still have at least 2/32 of an inch of tread depth? An easy way to determine this is to place a penny head-first in the tread groove. If you can see Abe Lincoln’s head, the tread is worn and you need to replace your tires. 

Make sure your windows are clean so you have a clear field of vision. Replace damaged windshield wipers and install wiper blades designed for wet, winter driving.  

When driving on wet roads, drive slower than usual so you can stop in time if needed. Travel at a reasonable speed and avoid tailgating behind other drivers. 

It’ also smart to plan your route in advance. Check the news to find out road conditions for your travel. If accidents are reported, you have time to avoid those problem areas. 

Practice driving on icy roads whenever possible so you get a better feel for your brakes and how quickly your car can come to a complete stop. 

Check to find out if your vehicle uses an anti-lock braking system, also called ABS. If it does, you can hold your brakes down when stopping. If you don’t have ABS, tap the brake pedal instead of holding it down to help prevent your vehicle from sliding off the roadway or into another car. 

When you’re driving on wet or icy roads, remember to use your turn signal sooner than you would normally. This will let other drivers know that you’re getting ready to turn earlier than usual so they can slow down sooner to help prevent a collision. 

If you’re planning to drive at night during the winter, pay special attention and look for black ice. This ice can be extremely deceiving and can cause a serious crash if you don’t slow down before you drive over it. 

What Causes the Most Dangerous Wet Roads?

According to a report from the Federal Highway Administration, approximately 900,000 of all crashes occur on wet roads. Almost 600,000 of road crashes happen while it’s raining.

To make matter worse, approximately 350,000 people are injured, and almost 4,500 people are killed as a result of crashes on slippery roadways. Wet roads result in slick surfaces that make it more difficult to stop in time to prevent a serious crash.

When the weather is rainy, drivers also have a much more difficult time seeing clearly, which makes it harder to drive safely. Snowfall and icy roadways are other contributing factors.

In terms of man-made conditions, oil leaks and spills can cause the roadways to become slick and dangerous. Leaking fluid accumulates over time, creating slick spots that are hard to identify when drivers are traveling at full speed.

Wet roads reduce the friction between the road itself and your tires. When there’s less friction, the surface becomes slick and it’s much more difficult to stop your vehicle safely. Pay attention to slippery when wet road signs so you’re more aware of these dangerous conditions, even when the weather is clear.

Driving Safe in Any Weather

Even if you’re driving in the rain or snow, you can practice a few smart habits to keep you safe. Stay alert at all times and look for the slippery when wet road sign while you drive so you’ll remember the most dangerous spots when it’s raining or snowing.

If you have received an auto insurance rate increase, a traffic ticket, or need to take a court-ordered defensive driving course, visit our website or contact us today to learn more about how we can help.


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