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Kent Fire Department offers driving tips during heavy rain
Over the next 48-72 hours the Puget Sound area is expected to receive 1-4 inches of rain. Rain in such high concentration can create unique driving challenges as people found out during last week’s deluge.
The Kent Fire Department Regional Fire Authority wants everyone to get around safely.
Safety tips for driving in heavy rains:
1. Slow down! Rain decreases your vision and reaction times.
2. Avoid “hydroplaning," where your tires ride on a layer of water rather than the road. Hydroplaning is more likely to happen at high speeds, if your tire tread is worn, or if your tires are not properly inflated.
3. Allow extra time to reach your destination.
4. Drive defensively. Leave extra space between you and the vehicle in front of you. Drive extra-safely since some others may not.
5. Check your brakes when driving in the rain. Wet brakes take longer to stop your vehicle. Tap your brakes occasionally to dry brakes off.
6. Ensure your windshield wipers are in good condition and that the window washer reservoir is filled.
Safety tips for driving near/in standing water:
1. Check news and city websites to discover areas to avoid.
2. Plan your route and make sure others know where you are going.
3. Avoid flooded streets. It only takes 12 inches of water to stall most vehicles. Water can also cause irreparable damage to engines, exhausts, and electrical systems.
4. Flooded streets may hide washed out roads and culverts that can trap the unwary.
5. Obey “road closed” signs and take an alternate route.
6. If you must drive through standing water, drive slowly and in the left-hand lanes.
7. If your vehicle stalls in standing water, do not panic. Call for assistance and wait in your vehicle with the emergency flashers operating. Only leave the vehicle if it begins to float.
The best and safest course of action is to not go out onto the road unless you have to.
For current road condition information, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov.