The rainy season is upon us. The Citrus Heights Police Department wants motorist to be prepared to drive during wet conditions. Please read the following driving tips regarding driving in wet weather.
1. Exercise extreme caution after a long dry spell. During a dry period, engine oil and grease build up on the roadways. When mixed with water from a new rainfall, the road becomes extremely slick. Continued rainfall will eventually wash away the oil, but the first few hours can be the most dangerous.
2. Allow for more travel time. You should plan to drive at a slower pace than normal when the roads are wet. Keep in mind that traffic is likely to be moving slower as well. There's also the possibility that your preplanned route may be flooded or jammed. Whatever the case, rushing equals a higher risk.
3. Drive slowly and carefully, especially while making turning movements. Steer and brake with smooth inputs. When you need to stop or slow, do not brake hard and risk a skid that may cause you to lose control of your vehicle. However, if you do find yourself in a skid, remain calm, ease your foot off the gas, and carefully steer in the direction you want the front of the car to go.
4. Avoid hydroplaning by keeping your tires inflated correctly. Don't put off replacing worn tires. Worn tires provide less traction at all times but especially when driving on wet roadways. Slow down when roads are wet and stay away from puddles. However, if you find yourself hydroplaning, do not brake hard or turn suddenly. This could throw your car into a skid. Ease your foot off the gas until the car slows. If you need to brake, do it gently.
5. Turn on your headlights, even when there's a light sprinkle. It helps you see the road, and more importantly, it helps other motorists see you. However, don't blast your high beams in the rain or fog — it'll obscure your view further, as the light will reflect back at you off the water droplets in the air. Having your headlights off during inclement weather is a violation of the vehicle code.
6. Watch out for pedestrians. An ordinarily observant pedestrian may become distracted
by fiddling with an umbrella or trying to avoid a puddle.
Now that you know how to drive in the rain, take some precautionary measures to ensure that your vehicle is prepared to get you through a downpour.
• Stay on top of your car's condition. Its brakes, tire pressures, tire tread depth and defroster operation should be checked regularly so that you'll be ready to deal with heavy rain when the time comes.
• Make sure that your wipers are in good condition and functioning properly. If the blades are brittle or damaged, replace them before you're caught in a downpour. Some wipers are definitely better than others, so ask your retailer for recommendations.