As April showers work to bring May flowers, people need to slow down and help keep others safe on the road when conditions call for caution.
Heavy rain can pass through quickly and unexpectedly. This can cause people to stop their car under a shelter or side of the road. John Christensen, the traffic safety coordinator St. Joseph Safety Council, said if people find rain too damaging to vision when driving, they need to stop with caution.
“If drivers do choose to pull over, maybe under an underpass or even off the roadway which is even better, the further away from the roadway you can park, as far to the right as possible, would be best as far as the safety for everybody involved,” he said.
When rain suddenly hits, drivers need to know others can’t see well also. It is important to remain vigilant when driving as well as preparing your vehicle.
“Slow down, increase the following distance between you and the car in front of you, wear your seatbelt, of course — headlights on if the wiper blades are on, make sure you have adequate wiper blade and tires too. Make sure that your vehicle is mechanically sound so the tires are able to channel that water and make contact with the road so you don’t hydroplane,” Christensen said.
Christensen said it’s important to replace any broken windshield wipers and always be ready on the road. According to American Automotive Association, wet pavement contributes to nearly 1.2 million traffic crashes each year.
If flash flooding is expected, be aware when driving in low-lying areas, and always turn around if there is water covering the roadway.