AAA Officials Urge Drivers to Use Caution Ahead Tuesday’s Heavy Rain

Wet Pavement Contributes To Nearly 1.2 Million Traffic Crashes Each Year

With heavy rains in the forecast during rush hour in the Washington D.C. area, AAA Mid-Atlantic officials are urging drivers to use caution on the roads.

The National Weather Service issued a flood watch for Montgomery County that begins at 3 p.m. and can last until Wednesday morning, so commuters should expect slippery road conditions and reduced visibility.

The biggest mistake drivers make, according to John Townsend, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic, is not taking rainfall seriously.

“Many motorists view rain storms as more of an inconvenience than a hazard,” he said. “As a result, drivers tend to be less cautious than they should be. The most important steps to take when driving in wet weather are to buckle up, slow down, and keep a safe distance from the car in front of you.”

Rainy conditions result in more than 60 percent of weather-related crashes, which is more than snow, sleet, or fog combined. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, an average of 2,230 people die each year in rain-related crashes each year in the United States.

Below are some safety tips that AAA officials said people should take:

  • To reduce chances of hydroplaning, drivers should slow down, avoid hard braking or turning sharply and drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you. With as little as ½ inch of water on the road, tires have to displace a gallon of water per second to keep the rubber meeting the road.
  • Make sure all headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals are properly functioning so other drivers will see you during downpours. Turn on your headlights whenever you drive.
  • Proper tire tread depth and inflation are imperative to maintaining good traction on wet roadways.
  • When facing reduced visibility, you and other drivers will likely need more time to react to surrounding traffic, so increase your following distance.
  • To reduce chances of hydroplaning, drivers should slow down, avoid hard braking or turning sharply and drive in the tracks of the vehicle ahead of you.

NWS Warns of Severe Weather Tuesday with a Flash Flood Watch

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Mitti Hicks

About Mitti Hicks

Mitti Hicks is a multimedia journalist and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She is passionate about telling stories that impact our community and may be reached at MHicks@mymcmedia.org and on Twitter @mittimegan.

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