San Diego Winter Weather Driving Tips
Drive Safely Through Winter Weather in Southern California
Many people think of Southern California as sunny and warm throughout the year, but even Southern California experiences a winter that can impact driving. There are things vehicle operators need to be aware of when driving through winter weather in Southern California.
Vehicle Accident Statistics
When winter weather hits in southern California, drivers tend to see more rainfall than anything else. Accidents occur more frequently when the rain falls, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
- 73% of accidents occur on wet pavement
- 46% of accidents occur during rainfall
- 17% of accidents occur during snow or sleet
- 13% of accidents occur on icy pavement
- 14% of accidents occur on snowy or slushy pavement
In Los Angeles alone, vehicle accidents during wet weather reach past 10 accidents per hour.
Preventing Vehicle Crashes in Winter Weather
There are some things southern California drivers can do to prevent the accidents that occur in the winter weather.
- Drive slowly: When rain first falls, the asphalt can be slippery as the water mixes with oil on the roadway
- Allow distance: Don’t tailgate. Allow enough distance between the vehicle ahead and your own so you can stop in time.
- Appropriate tires: Tires appropriate for wet weather can help you to control your vehicle more easily
- Hydroplaning: If your car loses control in the water, step off the gas and steer straight until your car is controllable again
- Don’t brake too hard: Tap on the brakes rather than hitting them hard to avoid sliding and hydroplaning
Driving with your lights on can make you visible to other drivers when in low visibility conditions.
Other Driving Hazards in Southern California
Rain isn’t the only hazard when driving in southern California. Drivers must be aware of mud and rock slides, fog, flash flooding, and high winds. Additionally, drivers must be aware of road closures due to inclement weather and accidents.
Never drive through a flooded area, even if you think the water is not very high. Often water is deeper than it looks. Water is extremely powerful and can carry away vehicles easily.
High winds can make a vehicle hard to control. If driving becomes too difficult, pull over in a safe spot, put on your hazard lights, and wait for the wind to calm down.
Driving safely through winter weather in southern California can save lives. Knowing what to expect and how to keep your vehicle under control in wet weather is essential when driving in southern California in the winter.