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Riding Out the Storm: Driving Safely in Strong Wind and Rain

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Driving during the holidays already seems like a Herculean task. But add in severe weather and you may find yourself in a dangerous situation. If possible, it is best to stay off the roads until the weather clears. However, this is easier said than done. Driving in any condition demands your attention. Driving in a storm deserves your vigilance.

The following tips may help you on the open road:

  1. Turn on your lights. Rain and high winds reduce visibility. California requires the use of headlights during rain, even in daylight.
    1. Headlights, taillights and other illuminating devices must be on any time it’s raining, snowing, sleeting, or hailing. Your lights must also be on any other time visibility is impaired by weather, smoke, fog, or conditions where you can’t see 500 feet ahead.
  2. Slow down. Traction decreases on wet pavement. Driving in wet conditions can cause hydroplaning.
    1. When the car hydroplanes, you should not immediately apply the brakes. How to recover from hydroplaning:
      1. Ease off accelerator
      2. Gradually decelerate
      3. Regain traction
      4. Apply brake nice and smooth
  3. Keep your hands firmly on the wheel. Keep both hands on the wheel because wind may move your vehicle.
  4. Keep your distance. Triple the three-second rule to nine seconds in poor weather conditions. A safe following distance gives you time to react to traffic.
  5. Avoid distractions. Don’t use your cell phone unless you have an acceptable hands-free device.
  6. Watch for objects. During hazardous conditions, be on the lookout for flooded roads, potholes, fallen branches, debris, downed electrical wires, and other roadway obstacles.

If you are injured in a car accident, due to someone else’s negligence, call our personal injury attorneys for a free case evaluation at 916-779-7000.

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