BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Fall showers are anticipated for the upcoming weekend in Kern County. It’s important to be prepared when hitting the roads.
Much of the precipitation is expected to fall late Sunday night and into Monday morning. Around an inch of rain is expected to fall in the Bakersfield area, possibly more in northern Kern County.
Here are some tips to practice safe driving while in the rain.
The first tip is to stay alert and pay attention to your surroundings and blind spots, according to State Farm. AAA also advises to avoid all distractions when driving in wet weather conditions.
“We don’t want to be distracted by mobile devices, by talking with other passengers in the vehicle, eating food,” Doug Shupe, AAA public information officer, said. “Your mind must be focused on the road ahead anytime you’re driving, but especially when driving in wet weather.”
Shupe also said drivers on the freeway should stick to the center lanes if possible to avoid puddles on the sides of the end lanes.
When using windshield wipers, turn on your headlights so that your taillights can come on as well and you can be visible to other drivers, according to Geico’s safe driving tips.
When driving at night, dim your dashboard lights, avoid looking directly at oncoming traffic. Also, clean your windshield on both the inside and outside for better clarity.
Grease and oil from cars produce a film on roads during dry conditions and when it rains, which becomes extremely slippery, according to State Farm. Drive below the speed limit to prevent the chance of hydroplaning.
Geico suggests leaving at least five seconds of following distance between you and the car in front of you. Never use cruise control on wet roads because if you do end up hydroplaning, it can cause you to lose control of your vehicle, according to Geico.
When Your Car Skids or Hydroplanes
AAA said it is important not to panic if your car begins to skid or hydroplane. Avoid hard braking or turning sharply.
- Don’t slam on the brakes and instead take your foot off the gas pedal to allow the vehicle to slow down
- Continue steering slowly in the direction you were headed until you have control
- Don’t jerk the wheel or you could flip your vehicle
There are nearly 1.2 million vehicle collisions each year nationwide related to weather, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. A majority of those happen during the rain and 70% occur on wet pavement.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published on Oct. 22 and has since been edited with updates.