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Advice on Driving in Heavy Rain

Here's what traffic experts say about navigating in the stormy weather we're having this week.

-- Slow down. (You need an expert to tell you this?) Not only is it more difficult to see, but also it takes more time to stop. You may not be able to calculate your stopping distance in particular situations.

-- Turn your lights on so other drivers get a better look at you.

-- Do your check list: Make sure the car windows and lights are clear before you start driving. Tires good? Wipers doing their job? Got jumper cables? You want to minimize the chances you'll be pulling over and spending a lot of time out of your car in this weather.

-- If your car has anti-lock brakes, don't pump them to slow down. Just apply stead pressure and let them do their job. (Another good reason to slow down and maintain a safe following distance.)

-- Use extreme caution passing a bus or truck. Conditions can change from monsoon to tsunami as you go by.

-- Be considerate of pedestrians. Slow down if you're in the curb lane so you don't spray the sidewalk.

-- Stick with a route you know. There are flash flood warnings across the region. Not all the roadway drains can handle downpours this intense. There's lots of standing water and it doesn't take as much as you think to overwhelm a car.

-- Avoid distractions. This is a good day to put the cell phone away and avoid personal grooming.

Road Essentials:  Incident Map  |  Traffic Cams   |   Key Routes

By Robert Thomson  |  May 26, 2009; 7:40 AM ET
Categories:  Driving  
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Next: Weather Alert: Flash Flood Warning Issued for Much of Region


Yes, idiots! Turn your *&%$&% lights on!

Daytime running lamps don't cut it. You need your tail lights on, too, and that only happens when you turn your lights on.

Posted by: ceebee2 | May 26, 2009 11:27 AM | Report abuse

It is true that Washington weather can be unpredictable, but I can confidently predict that a monsoon (which is called a hurricane in this hemisphere) cannot possibly change into a tsunami.

Posted by: TheCounter | May 26, 2009 11:36 AM | Report abuse


Have you ever driven past a truck or a bus? The spray off those vehicles combined with the rain falling can give the effect of a tsunami where you can't see anything, no matter how fast your wipers are.

Posted by: dj1123 | May 26, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

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