Roads are Wet – Drive Careful This Afternoon

Posted at 4:20 p.m.

Fairfax County and the surrounding areas have received a lot of rain in the past 24 hours, and while the intensity has decreased, rain is still falling in certain areas and roadways are wet, which affects your ability to quickly stop your vehicle during your afternoon commute.

Here are some safety tips to keep in mind this afternoon and evening as you travel.

First, turn on your headlights and your windshield wipers. Your wipers are obvious, but unfortunately, many of us forget to turn on our headlights, which helps us be seen by others on these overcast, grey rainy days.

Once in your vehicle and on your way, remember to give yourself plenty of space around other vehicles. AAA Mid-Atlantic suggests on three-lane roads to drive in the middle lane. They say that most roads are higher in the middle, which means there’s a greater chance of water runoff and standing water in the side lanes.

Avoid Hydroplaning

Be sure to slow down when you see water standing on the surface of the pavement, especially on freeways. Also, drive in the tracks left by any vehicle ahead.

If hydroplaning does occur, do not brake. Instead, ease your foot off the accelerator to gradually decrease speed until your tires regain traction, and continue to look and steer where you want to go. In fact braking in wet conditions is tricky business. Sudden, hard or prolonged braking can cause a skid.

If your vehicle is equipped with anti-lock brakes (ABS), all you need to do is press the brake pedal and hold it down. Do not pump the brakes, because ABS does that very rapidly for you. The system automatically senses if a wheel begins to lock and quickly releases and reapplies the brakes as many times as necessary to keep the wheel from locking up.

If your vehicle is not equipped with anti-lock brakes, the best way to brake under these conditions is to use squeeze braking. For squeeze braking, keep your heel on the floor and use your toes to apply pressure on the brake pedal. If the wheels lock, ease off the brake pedal to a point where they just release. Adjust pedal pressure as necessary. This gives you the best combination of braking effort and directional control.

Flood Warning and Flash Flood Watch

The National Weather Service has extended the Flood Warning for Fairfax County until 9 p.m. tonight and a Flash Flood Watch remains in effect through late tonight.

Rapidly moving water is powerful and can be a threat to vehicles as well as people and property. Please stay away from rapidly rising creeks and streams and don’t drive through roads covered in water. You can’t tell how deep the water may be, so remember to turn around, don’t drown.

Weather information is online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/weather-forecast.htm.

Tips provided by AAA Mid-Atlantic

 

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About Fairfax County Emergency Information

Official emergency information about preparedness, response and recovery from Fairfax County Government.

5 responses to “Roads are Wet – Drive Careful This Afternoon”

  1. Kammy Stern says :

    Proper English gammar requires the use of an adverb, such as “Carefully”.

    Please correct your error before you confuse residents whose grasp of grammar is already tenuous at best. On Apr 30, 2014 4:20 PM, “Fairfax County Emergency Information” wrote:

    > Fairfax County Emergency Information posted: “Posted at 4:20 p.m. > Fairfax County and the surrounding areas have received a lot of rain in the > past 24 hours, and while the intensity has decreased, rain is still falling > in certain areas and roadways are wet, which affects your ability to > quickly sto”

    • Anonymous says :

      Agreed. Drive carefulLY. I do appreciate the newswire communications, though, as does everyone.

  2. John Ohlsen says :

    Inclement Weather

    Drivers are required to use headlights when driving in rain, snow, sleet or fog if visibility is reduced to 500 feet. If you need to use your windshield wipers, you need to turn on your headlights. Use low-beam headlights in fog, snow, sleet or rain.

    Read more: http://www.ehow.com/list_7240989_virginia-headlight-laws.html#ixzz30P4bgUeF

  3. Tom Sherman says :

    Kammy, Thanks for calling them on that. I was just coming to do the same. Sad really that we had to catch this!

  4. Stephen Murphy says :

    “…Drive carefully this afternoon”

    Be a good grammarian!

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