It's raining, it's pouring and man, people do not know how to drive in this weather! A headline in this morning's L.A. Times stated the rain "triples traffic crashes on L.A. area freeways."
Wet weather is such a rare occurrence here, many drivers seem to forget what to do. To serve as a reminder, Alex Cohen spoke to the corporate communications manager of the Auto Club of Southern California, Jeffrey Spring.
Here are three tips on how to drive defensively in the rain:
1. Make sure your car is prepared for the rain.
JEFFREY SPRING: Check your tires to make sure they're in good condition, both with the recommended inflation level and tread. Also, check your windshield wipers, which can dry out in warm weather. Lastly, it may sound counter-intuitive, but check your windshield washer fluid too. Oils can build up on the road because of infrequent rain storms. That oil can kick-up onto the windshield in a storm and create a sheen, so use that fluid every now and then when driving.
2. If hydroplaning occurs, don't slam on the brakes.
SPRING: The last thing you wanna do is hit your brakes really hard. Many cars are equipped with automatic braking systems, or ABS, and you really should know what kind of braking system your car has. If it has ABS, apply steady pressure to the brakes and the ABS will kick-in. If you don't have that, you want to lightly pump your brakes until you have control. Maintain a straight direction for the vehicle and allow it to slow down until you gain contact with the pavement.
3. Slow down if you run into flooding on the freeway.
SPRING: If you approach flooding on the freeway, you have to slow down so you can drive through it safely. When you get out of the flooded water. You want to test the brakes a couple of times to make sure they're still working since they could have gotten wet.
*This interview has been edited for clarity
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