Rain Poses Biggest Threat to Drivers, Here’s What You Should Know

As residents in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas  prepare for Hurricane Irma, Maryland emergency officials are urging residents to plan ahead for the tropical storm’s impact throughout the region.

Depending on the storm’s track, experts from the National Weather Service anticipate that Hurricane Irma will affect the mid-Atlantic region early next week with heavy rain and possible tornadoes.

Rain, compared to any other inclement weather condition, poses the biggest threat to drivers.

“More weather related crashes occur in the rain than any other weather condition,” John Townsend, public affairs manager for AAA mid-Atlantic, said.

The best thing for drivers to do is to delay the commute until the storm passes but if you’re on the road already and a downpour starts, here are a few safety tips from Townsend:

  • Drive slower than the speed limit;
  • Avoid distractions and put both hands on the steering wheel;
  • If it starts flood, turn around; and
  • If you pullover on the side of the road, turn off your lights. Drives tend to follow lights during inclement weather so turning them off decreases the chance of an accident.

It only takes 6 to 12 inches of rain to possibly stall a vehicle, according to Townsend.  Here’s how he recommends drivers to prepare their vehicles in the event of an emergency:

  • Check windshield wipers. The life expectancy is only six months.
  • Make sure the headlights and taillights are working and shining bright.
  • Check your tires because often times they are under-inflated.  Check these at least once a month.
  • Keep a roadside emergency kit that includes: jumper cables, flares, and an extra pair of windshield wipers.
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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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