By Michael Pines, Accident & Injury Prevention Expert
San Diego’s rainy season persists from late January through March with February being the rainiest of all the winter months. With perpetual downpours closely on our heels, now is the time to get your vehicle ready for San Diego County’s wettest month.
7 Tips to Safer Winter Driving in San Diego
When it comes to winter driving, nothing is more important than preparing your vehicle and paying attention to the road ahead. Coupled with slow driving, you can significantly decrease your risk of getting into a car accident when wet conditions are present. Here’s what you can do to stay safe this winter in San Diego.
- Slow down
Fast speed is no match against oil-slicked, wet roads. To ensure your safety and the safety of others, always reduce your speed in inclement weather. Even light coastal drizzling can create hazardous conditions, so play it safe and always reduce your speed at the first sign of wetness.
- Check Tire Traction
Countless car accidents in San Diego are caused by tires that are bald, deteriorated from summer heat or driven while punctured by a nail or other sharp object. The best way to prevent an accident in the rainy season is to ensure your tires are in proper working condition with plenty of remaining tread, free from any damage. Tires with proper tread stop a vehicle more effectively and also provide the needed traction for slippery roadways.
- Adjust Tire Pressure
The lack of proper tire pressure leads to poor responsiveness on slick roadways. Make sure to always check and adjust your tire pressure as temperatures can change PSIs from season-to-season.
- Replace Windshield Wipers
Install a fresh pair of windshield wipers each winter since summer heat can significantly deteriorate rubber materials. Poorly functioning windshield wipers impair your visibility and can lead to car accidents in foggy, drizzly and wet conditions.
- Declutter Your Interior
Loose objects strewn about the interior of a vehicle can cause serious personal injury if you get into a car accident. Keep all loose items in a covered bin and stored at the foot of your rear passenger area.
- Ensure Up-to-Date Maintenance
No one wants to be stuck on the side of the road in the middle of a torrential downpour. Make sure to keep up on scheduled maintenance to avoid being literally caught in the rain.
- Carry an Emergency Roadside Kit
If you do have to pull over to the side of the road and the shoulder is the only option, be sure you have an emergency roadside kit that includes flameless flares or small traffic cones. When using the kit, always follow the instructions carefully since you don’t want to obstruct traffic or further the cause of accidents.
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