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Wet Weather Driving Safety

Wet weather reached us early this year and, with it, numerous collisions on our roads and highways. The latest accident statistics indicate that December through February is the worst time for rain-related crashes, with the accident rate tripling when the roads are wet, according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP). Taking additional precautions is crucial to the safety of drivers during this time of year.

After it first rains here, drivers experience a unique situation that only comes from little to no rain for several months: a build-up of dirt and oil along our highways turns the roads into a slippery nightmare.

While the recent rains have caused many fender benders, there have been several crashes resulting in injuries, including a major big-rig accident over the grapevine that caused a Sig Alert for several hours. In addition, several multiple-vehicle accidents have caused injuries.

Due to the accumulation of water in the peripheral lanes of the highway when it rains heavily, drivers should travel in the center lanes to avoid hydroplaning.

Other wet weather driving safety tips include:

Check your tires and windshield wipers to be sure you are ready for rainy or winter driving. Check wipers and tires: replace wipers each year and tires when they begin to lose traction.

Slow down! Increase your following distance during rainy periods. Try to follow the tracks of the car in front of you but never follow a truck; in some cases, the spray created by a truck may reduce your vision through the windshield.

If there is too much water on the roadway, you may find yourself hydroplaning. If this occurs, then don't turn the wheel or brake. Release the gas pedal slowly and steer straight ahead until the car regains traction again.

Brake earlier and with less force than usual. This will not only alert the driver in back of you that you are decelerating but also increase the stopping distance between you and the car in front of you.

Turn on your lights. This increases visibility, enabling you to see the road more clearly and other drivers to see you.

Be vigilant, as numerous collisions between motor vehicles and pedestrians often occur during stormy weather. People walking with umbrellas are typically distracted during rainy times and may not always hear automobiles over the pounding rain.

During the fall and winter wet weather, it is important to slow down and take extra driving safety precautions. Leaving early for a destination--or arriving a few minutes late--is better than never making it there at all.

About Author James Ballidis :

James Ballidis is an Orange County injury lawyer who has written extensively on car accidents and accident victims' rights. This information is available to the public free of charge. If you would like to request an article or a book, or to discuss a specific case with an Orange County injury lawyer, feel free to call 866-981-5596 or visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>

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Article Added on Friday, November 19, 2010
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