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AAA Mid-Atlantic: Driving Rain, Driving Dangers
Heavy rain today and tomorrow, followed by dropping temperatures increase risks for motorists
PHILADELPHIA, PA (January 12, 2018) With forecasters calling for heavy rains and possible flooding today and tomorrow, AAA Mid-Atlantic is reminding motorists that there is an increased risk for single vehicle crashes when roads are wet. In addition to the amount of precipitation expected, motorists should also anticipate the potential for icy conditions come Saturday night and Sunday, as temperatures are not expected to climb above freezing.
According to research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, there are a greater proportion of non-collisions (single vehicle crashes) than multiple-vehicle collisions when roads are wet.
“Rain may seem a welcome relief compared to the weather we’ve been having, but wet roadways contribute to more than a million crashes each year,” says Jana L. Tidwell, manager of Public and Government Affairs for AAA Mid-Atlantic. “Drivers also need to keep an eye on the roads this weekend as temperatures drop below freezing through early next week, likely causing wide-spread icy patches.”
AAA Mid-Atlantic Driving Tips – Heavy Rain
Do NOT to try to drive through flooded roadways or intersections.
Pull over and wait it out. Especially during heavy downpours when visibility is limited.
Slow down. Drive defensively and with compromised road conditions in mind.
Increase following distance. When roads are wet, following distance should be increased to 8-10 seconds
Make sure tires are properly inflated and have a healthy tread.
Never use cruise control in wet-weather.
Make sure headlights are on and that your brake lights and taillights are clean and visible - not just so you can see but so you can be seen by others.
Make sure windshield wipers work and don’t streak.
If you do begin to skid or hydroplane, always look and steer in the direction you want to go.
“Driving through standing water is especially dangerous because you never know how deep the water is or what you are driving over. Turn around, don’t drown,” Tidwell says. “We’ve all seen the pictures of cars stuck in the middle of a flooded area. Those drivers are not only putting themselves at risk, they are also endangering those who then must venture into the floodwaters to rescue them.”
AAA Mid-Atlantic Driving Tips – Icy Conditions
- Protect your vehicle: if possible park car inside garage or under a cover like a carport.
- Dry and lubricate surfaces: wipe down and dry weather strips and surfaces around doors and windows. Apply a lubricant (WD40, cooking spray and even Vaseline work well) to the weather stripping to prevent freezing.
- Windshield wipers: pull wipers away from your windshield to prevent them from freezing to the windshield.
- Use the right windshield washer solvent: make sure windshield washer solvent is the correct type for winter. Summer rated solvents will freeze and can cause cracking and serious damage to the washer reservoir.
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AAA provides automotive, travel and insurance services to 57 million members nationwide and more than three million members in Pennsylvania. AAA advocates for the safety and mobility of its members and has been committed to outstanding road service for more than 100 years. The not-for-profit, fully tax-paying member organization works on behalf of motorists, who can now map a route, find local gas prices, discover discounts, book a hotel and track their roadside assistance service with the AAA Mobile app for iPhone, iPad and Android. For more information, visit www.AAA.com.