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Number of Car Accidents Increases With Rainy Weather

With several straight days of rainy weather, there appears to have been a spike in the number of car accidents occurring in San Diego County. According to the California Highway Patrol, about 30 auto accidents occurred between midnight and 7 a.m. this morning. Fortunately, none of the reported accidents involved any serious injuries.

The National Weather Service is predicting more rain through Wednesday of this week with the possibility of heavier rains Tuesday and Wednesday that could cause flash flooding in many areas.

Among the accidents this morning included an accident on Interstate 5 that knocked down a pole and blocked several lanes and a collision on Route 78 that resulted in one car overturning.

In addition to car accidents slowing traffic, a number of roads have already been closed due to flooding, including the Carmel Mountain Road on-ramp to northbound Interstate 5, portions of Country Club Drive north of Harmony Grove Road, and Quarry Road in Spring Valley.

These wet driving conditions call for drivers to remember a few keys for driving in the rain. Here are just a few tips that may help you avoid accidents when driving in less than ideal conditions:

  • Slow down - your breaks probably won't work as well in wet weather
  • Keep at least a three-second distance - allow space between yourself and other drivers because you never know how others will drive.
  • Avoid hard braking - braking too quickly may result in hydroplaning. Instead, give yourself more space and slow down by taking your foot of the accelerator.
  • Stay toward the middle lanes - Water tends to pool in the outer lanes.
  • Avoid driving through water of unknown depth - if you can't tell how deep the water is, don't risk driving through it, you may end up in deep water that could stall your car.
  • Most importantly, avoid driving in heavy rainstorms if at all possible. If you need to pull off the road, make sure you pull over far enough to avoid oncoming traffic and make sure to turn on your hazard lights.

Source: San Diego Union Tribune, Several Crashes Reported on County Freeways, Debbi Baker 12/20/10

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