As weather forecasters warn of impending rain and snow headed for the state, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) is preparing motorists by offering safe driving tips.
“Driving in inclement weather can pose numerous safety challenges,” said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow. “Many crashes are caused by people driving too fast in the rain, snow or fog.”
Last year in California 106 people were killed in collisions that occurred either in rainy, snowy or foggy conditions. More than 7,696 people were injured in crashes under similar weather conditions.
To help drivers negotiate slick conditions while traveling through rain or snow, the CHP offers the following safety tips:
Check to see that the windshield wipers are in good condition. Also, be sure the vehicle’s headlights are on anytime you have your windshield wipers on continuously, it’s the law.
Reduce your speed and allow more time for your journey. The maximum posted speed limit may not apply to the wet or icy road conditions.
If you encounter fog, again, slow down. Drive with your lights on low beam. Don’t stop on a highway, unless it’s an emergency. And keep a close watch on your speed.
When traveling it’s recommended you carry the following items: Tire chains and tighteners, flashlight and batteries, flares, small shovel, windshield scraper, waterproof clothing that’s warm, blankets, snacks and drinking water. A cellular telephone with a backup power source might be the single most important safety item available.
The CHP urges you to check road conditions often. The best way to do this is to call the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Road Conditions Hotline: 1-800-427-ROAD (1-800-427-7623).
In addition to overcoming weather-related obstacles, remember to buckle up, slow down and never drink and drive.