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As we enter into Autumn and Winter, the Bay Area weather will bring rain, fog, and snow in some regions. Though the rainfall is very much needed, these weather conditions bring new challenges to our roadways.
Here are some safe driving tips to help you when the roads are wet:
• Slow down in the rain, fog, and snow. Wet or snowy roads have less traction.
• Increase your following distance, and brake early.
• Always turn your headlights on in inclement weather. Often lights are the only things visible to other motorists!
• Avoid driving through puddles; your vehicle can be stranded in deep standing water.
• Hydroplaning (the loss of contact between tires and the roadway due to standing water) can lead to crashes. If you begin hydroplaning:
o Avoid hard braking movements. If you have to use the brakes, tap them lightly.
o Keep your steering wheel straight; steering is not possible when tires aren’t making contact with the road
o Take your foot off the accelerator.
o When you regain traction, continue driving at slower speeds to avoid future hydroplaning.
• Collisions increase with bad weather. Plan ahead and add extra travel time!
• Never use cruise control in bad weather.
Make sure your vehicle is weather-ready!
• Make sure your tires are properly inflated, in good condition, and have enough tread depth.
• Check your vehicle’s lights, and replace any burnt out or malfunctioning lights.
• Make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition. Manufacturers recommend replacement at least yearly.
• Keep your windshield, windows, and mirrors clean. Use anti-fogging agents if possible.
• Ensure your vehicle fluids are topped off, including antifreeze coolant, oil, brake fluid, and windshield washer fluid.
When getting ready for winter trips, make sure you have a full gas tank, an emergency kit, blankets and other warm clothing, snacks and water. Carry chains, a windshield ice scraper, and flares for emergency situations.
The California Highway Patrol reminds you to drive safely, especially as we enter into the holiday season.