If this week's weather forecast is any indication, El Niño has arrived. We’re in for rainy weather in Southern California for the entire week, which is great, given that we truly-madly-deeply need the rain. The downside is that driving in wet conditions is more difficult than driving when it's dry and clear. Here are some rainy day driving tips to keep in mind:
> Turn on your headlights. Using your headlights not only allows YOU to see more clearly, it also helps other drivers see you. Plus, it’s the law. Really. You can get a ticket.
> Reduce your speed. The posted speed limit may be too fast for conditions.
> Maintain more distance between you and the car ahead of you. It takes longer to stop on wet pavement.
> Do not drive through pools of standing water.
> Use extra caution during the first 30 to 60 minutes of a rainstorm — that’s when the road is especially slick.
> Make sure your car is in good working condition—tire pressure, wipers, defroster, exhaust system, BRAKES, etc. Did we mention BRAKES?
> Driving distracted is NEVER EVER a good idea, but it’s an especially horrible idea when it's raining. Concentrate on safe driving. Everything else can wait.
> Check road conditions before you head out the door. Call 511, monitor local media, or click over to dot.ca.gov and check out the Caltrans QuickMap.
> Yes, there ARE more accidents when it rains, which means more congestion and delays. So, if you have flexibility in your travel time, save yourself some aggravation and postpone your trip until the weather clears.
For more El Niño storm-prep info, check out storms.ca.gov.