Friday, September 5, 2008

Be Careful Tonight and Tomorrow with Tropical Storm Hanna's Rainfall

Tropical Storm Hanna will be bringing plenty of rain to Loudoun County roadways tomorrow, with upwards of 8 inches possible, and the the bulk of the precipitation occurring between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. tomorrow. Flash flooding is a concern.

Remember, don't drive across water-covered roads; turn around and find another route. And if your car stalls in rapidly rising waters, abandon it immediately and climb to higher ground. If you live in a low lying or flood prone area, you may also want to move your vehicle(s) to higher ground.

Here are some safe driving tips to remember if you have to be out in tomorrow's rain:
  • Adjust your speed. Slippery roads don’t provide the grip your tires need, so adjustments must be made by the driver. If the road is wet, reduce speed by five to ten miles an hour.
  • Avoid using your cruise control in wet conditions. Rain can cause wheel-spin and loss of control. The only way to stop this wheel-spin and maintain control is to immediately reduce power. However, an activated cruise control system will continue to apply power, keeping the wheels spinning. By the time you disengage the cruise control, you may have lost control.
  • Increase your “Space Cushion.” Keep at least a five second stopping distance, compared to a three to four second stopping distance when conditions are favorable.
  • Adjust to visibility restrictions. In heavy rain you may not be able to see more than 100 feet ahead. If so, you cannot safely drive faster than 25 miles per hour. To help, use low-beam headlights.
  • As rainfall increases, tires must cut through the water to maintain contact with the road. If there's too much water on the road and you are traveling too fast, your vehicle may start to ride on top of the water -- a condition called hydroplaning or aquaplaning. Don't drive with bald or badly worn tires. Ensure your tires are properly inflated. And slow down when rainfall is heavy or storm water is standing on the road.
Because wet road conditions can be particularly hazardous, it’s a good idea to carry, at a minimum, an emergency kit that contains first-aid supplies that include emergency water, flares or reflectors, an emergency blanket, etc. There are many Web sites where you can order first-aid kits. Store your kit in a place you can reach from the driver’s seat, such as the glove compartment or passenger seat back pocket.

To monitor Tropical Storm Hanna, check out the storm tracker below. For the latest weather, visit Loudoun County Weather.

For the latest Loudoun County traffic news and information, subscribe to Loudoun County Traffic via your favorite RSS reader, or get Loudoun County Traffic by e-mail.

No comments:

Post a Comment