After a dry six months, locals are happy to finally see measurable rain. However, oil combined with pools of water have made for slick roads and slippery driving conditions.
It’s the perfect recipe for hydroplaning. Just one-twelfth of an inch of rain while going 35 miles an hour or more is enough to hydroplane.
If you do find yourself sliding on wet roads, let your foot off the gas pedal slowly, then steer straight until you regain control.
If your car starts spinning–turn your wheel slowly in the direction of the spin.
“Don’t input a lot of steering and don’t slam on the brakes,” advises CHP officer Robert Rodriguez.
As for flooding, remember: turn around, don’t drown. Just one foot of water is enough to float a car. Two feet of rushing water is enough to carry most vehicles, including SUVs.
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, nearly 5,000 people are killed and more than 400,000 people are injured in weather-related crashes each year.
Rodriguez said, fortunately, there was not a spike in car accidents Wednesday in Kern County.
One vehicle did roll over as the rain began to fall, but it hasn’t been determined if the weather was a contributing factor.
“Especially on rainy days, anticipate that there will be these crashes which will hinder your commute, so again, allow yourself plenty of extra time,” Rodriguez said.
He added, “when you have your windshield wipers on, we want you to activate those headlights, so if you have those daytime running lamps, that’s not sufficient.”
Ultimately, the two main takeaways: slow down and use your headlights.