Rainy, snowy weekend driving tips

Rain and snow are in the forecast for this weekend. If you must leave the warmth of the indoors for a journey in your ride, here are some tips to follow to help get you there and back from the California Office of Traffic Safety:
  • Turn on your headlights in cloudy, rainy, snowy and foggy weather. Use the low beam; Allow extra travel time and slow down;
  • Wear your seat belt for best way to survive a crash;
  • If it’s raining, drive toward the middle lanes, as water tends to pool in outside lanes;
  • Be alert and vigilant for hazards around you;
  • Add distance between you and the car ahead;
  • Avoid using your brakes by taking your foot off the accelerator. Tap the brake pedal to warn those behind you that you are slowing down. Do not hard lock the breaks;
  • Never drive through moving water if the ground beneath it cannot be seen or the water’s depths are unknown. Your vehicle could be swept away;
  • Do not use cruise control, which can cause skidding and loss of tire traction in winter conditions;
  • If you begin to hydroplane or skid, never brake suddenly, ease off the gas until traction is regained. Turn the steering wheel in the direction of the skid. As recovery begins, gently steer straight. Brake using a light pumping motion in vehicles without antilock brakes. With antilock brakes, brake normally because the car’s computer will mimic the pumping action;
  • Carry the appropriate size chains if you plan to head toward snow country;
  • If conditions are really bad, postpone the trip;
  • Do not use your cellphone while driving;
  • Stay abreast of the latest traffic conditions at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/ or (800) 427-7623. However, if you need to check road conditions, have a passenger call for you or pull over to a safe place before calling.
For more tips, visit www.ots.ca.gov.
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