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Follow this primer for wet-weather driving in Southern California

Lately, our Southern California weather forecast has had a lot more of the wet stuff in it than we're accustomed to. Those of us who live here don't have the best reputation when it comes to driving in the rain.

In fact, a local electrical and computer engineer recently shared weather data he analyzed, and it shows that no matter what time of day, the number of traffic accidents rises in the rain in the Los Angeles area. Sometimes during the day, the number of accidents nearly doubles.

It isn't just in the Los Angeles area, though, that accidents are caused by weather. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation, between 2007 and 2016, 21 percent of car crashes were weather-related and accounted for 19 percent of crash injuries and 16 percent of crash fatalities.

The last thing we want is to cause a crash that leaves someone injured. Take a glance at these wet-weather driving reminders before you hit the road in the rain.

  1. Watch your speed. Slowing down by five or 10 mph will increase your braking time and also help you to keep from skidding or hydroplaning.
  2. Use your low beam lights to help you see and be seen. Don't use the high beams in the rain.
  3. Increase the distance between your car and the car traveling in front of you. Definitely do not tailgate.
  4. Find the appropriate speed for your windshield wipers. Make sure to check that they clear the drops from your windows appropriately, too. Replace them if they don't.
  5. Give your tires the penny test. Put a penny between the treads, Lincoln side first. If Abe's head disappears, then your tires are good. If you can see his head, then you need to change your tires. Good tires are crucial for driving in poor weather.
  6. The weather could knock out traffic signals. Treat them the way you do stop signs, but stop even longer and take extra care to make sure no cars are coming. Other drivers might not know that law.
  7. Don't drive through standing water.
  8. Don't forget your defroster.

Driving in rainy weather can be scary. Take caution and remember that other drivers might not do the same. If you are in a crash, seek medical help if you are injured and consult an attorney for assistance in recouping your expenses.

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