At least five traffic incidents on Santa Clarita Valley freeways and surface streets between 6:00 a.m. and 12 p.m. Thursday morning serve as a reminder for motorists to take extra caution during the first rain of the season.
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Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station officials reported four incidents on Thursday morning at Seco Canyon Road and Decoro Drive, McBean Parkway and Arroyo Park Drive, Newhall Ranch Road and McBean Parkway and a car off the side of the road at Via Princessa and Whites Canyon Road.
The California Department of Transportation’s Traffic QuickMap also reported a collision at Escondido Canyon Road on State Route 14, as well as flooding at Commerce Center Drive and Henry Mayo Drive in Castaic. See the Traffic QuickMap by clicking here.
Of the more than 6 million traffic incidents around the nation each year, at least 24 percent, or 1.5 million, are weather-related, according to the Federal Highway Administration.
Wet pavement alone results in an average 507,900 injuries and 5,500 deaths annually.
California Highway Patrol Spokesman John Lutz said that people often mistakenly think that rain or other inclement weather causes these collisions.
“A common misconception is that rain or snow or black ice cause crashes. That couldn’t be farther from the truth,” he said. “It’s the operator.”
His first advice to motorists driving in the rain was to plan ahead before getting in the car, to make sure they have enough time to reach their destination. There are many tools and smart phone applications that can advise motorists of road conditions ahead of time.
“The more you plan head the more time you’ll have, so you won’t be in a hurry,” Lutz said.
Travel times often increase on rainy days, as freeway speeds can decrease by as much as 13 percent even during light rain, according the FHA.
Lutz also cautioned motorists to allow more room for others on the road, avoid areas that appear flooded and drive slowly through standing water, “even if it’s a small puddle.”
“Inclement weather is going to accentuate your braking distance,” he said.
Tips from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department also warn motorists to always carry emergency supplies and a cell phone with them in the case of a collision, especially on longer holiday trips.
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Source: Santa Clarita News