In the next few days, Oregon and Washington drivers may see measurable rain falling for the first time in months, and for transportation safety advocates, that means it's time to remind motorists that roads may become especially slick with the first rains of the season.
"Rain can create dangerous driving conditions, but especially so after we've seen extended days without precipitation," said Oregon Department of Transportation Director Matt Garrett.
Heavy rains can reduce visibility and traction between tires and the road and also create less predictable car handling. After weeks of driving in dry weather, ODOT suggests giving yourself more time to get where you are going, and offering the following reminders:
Slow down, especially through high water. Driving through several inches of water at high speed can cause you to lose control of your car.
Expect road surfaces to be slick when it starts raining after a dry spell. Engine oil and grease build up on the road over time. When mixed with water from rain, the road can become slick. The first few hours of a fresh rain can be the most dangerous.
Keep your distance. A car needs two to three times more stopping distance on wet roads.
The most common vehicle problems in wet weather involve wipers, brakes, tires and defrosters. ODOT advises they should be in working order and that your tires are properly inflated before heading out.
Copyright 2012 KPTV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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