09/29/10 — DOT: Rain requires careful driving

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DOT: Rain requires careful driving

By Staff Reports
Published in News on September 29, 2010 1:46 PM

RALEIGH -- Heavy rains associated with the tropical depression off the coast of North Carolina could result in flash flooding along roadways over the next few days causing dangerous driving conditions.

The storm is expected to dump 4 to 6 inches of rain on Wayne county before skies start to clear late Thursday. Rains earlier in the week had already dropped 4 to 6 inches in the area.

State Department of Transportation officials remind motorists to avoid driving through flooded areas, even if they seem shallow.

Just one foot of water can float many vehicles, while two feet of rushing water can carry away even SUVs and pick-ups; and flooding could hide the fact that a road has been washed away, creating even more hazardous conditions.

DOT officials offer the following driving tips:

* If your vehicle starts to hydroplane, take your foot off the gas, apply the brakes in a steady, slightly firm manner without stomping and steer in the direction of the skid. If you have a manual transmission, push in the clutch and let the car slow down on its own;

* If the rain is extremely heavy, pull over in a safe area in a parking lot or on the roadside with your emergency flashers on, away from any trees or other tall objects, and wait for the weather to improve;

* After driving through a puddle, tap your brake pedal to help dry your brake rotors;

* Allow more travel time;

* Turn on your low beam headlights and use the defroster to increase visibility;

* If possible, stay in the middle lane where the road tends to be higher;

* Reduce your speed by at least five to 10 miles per hour and allow at least twice the normal following distance;

* Signal for turns ahead of time and brake early as you near a stop. Remember, roads are slickest in the first 10 to 15 minutes, especially if it has not rained for a while; and

* If a traffic signal is knocked out by a storm, regard the intersection as a four-way stop. If two or more vehicles arrive at the same time, the car to the right has the right of way and after signaling, may move in any direction. If two facing vehicles approach the intersection at the same time, any car traveling straight ahead or turning right has the right of way.