Driving safely in wet conditions
With showers, storms in tonight and tomorrow’s forecast, police say they’re expecting to see accidents hike up.
News 25’s Gina Tomlinson spoke with authorities about how to make the safest commute when the roads are slippery.
Wet roads are responsible for 1.2 million traffic accidents every year, this according to AAA. A slippery situation, Sergeant Willard Hipple says he’s all too familiar with. “You’d have car after car going into the water and that water blows up the engine block and cuts the engine off so even though it might only be a foot of water, it will start stalling cars out so pretty soon we’ll have parking lots down on Highway 90 that’s wrecked out.”
Since the weekend, the Gulf Coast has had between four and six inches of rain, Biloxi police say heavy rain brings visibility issues for drivers. The wet conditions also make hydroplaning a greater possibility. “When you have standing water on a street, if you’re going too fast and your vehicle enters that, what tends to happen is your tire loses traction on the roadway so you’ll actually slide across the water,” said Sgt. Hipple.
Police tell News 25 it’s the areas that are known to collect water frequently like Highway 90 that see the most accidents, but police say no matter where you’re driving, in heavy rain, you need to make sure you’re aware of your surroundings. “Slow down, if you’re going down a road that you know has a lot of standing water typically or really bad, take a different route. Make sure your window wipers are working really good, working efficiently and just don’t be in a hurry,” said Sgt. Hipple.
Some of the tips authorities suggest when venturing out in the rain are: leaving other drivers enough space to break, turning lights on, avoiding cruise control, and keeping a firm grip on the wheel. “It all goes back to being careful, slowing down, if you see standing water and you can’t tell how deep it is, don’t go through it. Turn around, take a different route,” said Sgt. Hipple.