Spring rain may mean beautiful summer flowers, but it can pose serious challenges for commuters. Wet road conditions may make normal travel speeds unsafe. Be alert and follow these helpful tips for rainy weather commuting:
Slow down: Water and oil on the road creates slippery conditions. When tires meet more water than they can push out of the way, hydroplaning, or sliding, may occur. Slowing down can prevent hydroplaning and help the driver stay in control.
Increasing following distance: Pavement may become slick when wet. Water on roads makes it difficult for tires to get traction so that bicycles and motor vehicles will need a greater distance to stop. Increased following distance can prevent crashes when sudden stopping occurs.
Be visible: Rain reduces visibility, making it harder to see pedestrians and others on the road. Use of low beam headlights are required for all vehicles during low visibility conditions, including rain. Pedestrians should wear bright and reflective clothing or equipment to be seen more easily. Bicycles should have both lights and reflectors.
Keep tires in good condition: Bicycles and motor vehicles need to have tires in good condition for commuting in wet weather. Check tire pressure regularly and keep tires properly inflated. Vehicles should have good tread, more than 1/16 of an inch, for maximum traction.
Do not enter flood
water: Moving water can sweep a person, cyclist or even a large vehicle
away. It can be difficult to know how deep pooled water is;use caution. Do not
enter closed roads or move road closure signs.
What do traffic engineers, road maintenance workers, bicycle and pedestrian advocates, deputy sheriffs and firefighters have in common? A concern for public safety. And traffic safety is a huge component of public safety.
Our goal is to reduce deaths, injuries and property damage from road traffic collisions. Contributing factors to road traffic crashes are related to the driver, the vehicle, the pedestrian, the bicyclist and the road itself.
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What officials can do…
Traffic engineers refer to the 3 E's: Engineering, Education, and Enforcement.
- Engineering tools include road design, pavement markings, warning and regulatory signs, and traffic calming devices, along with all the engineering that goes into the design and manufacture of vehicles.
- Education informs people through driver's education classes, media safety campaigns, signage, speed watch programs, and school and neighborhood meetings.
- Enforcement techniques include Sheriff's Office warnings and citations, along with radar trailers, speed display signs and radar reader boards.
Motorists today share the road with many more bicyclists, pedestrians, and farmers moving their equipment. Here are the keys to safety for us all:
- Speed – watch it!
- Alcohol – do not drink and drive.
- Seatbelts – wear them!
- Helmets – if you are on a bike, a helmet should be on you.
- Visibility – when walking or biking, wear light and reflective colors.