Safety tips when driving in the rain in the desert southwest

YUMA, Ariz. – Both Rural Metro Fire and Yuma Fire Departments say the number of emergency calls go up during rainy weather. Yuma Fire Department spokesman Mike Erfert said“When you’ve got wet roads your stopping distance gets longer so leave that extra space one of the ways to do that is make sure that you leave enough time.”
So leaving extra travel time will leave you with extra space for the driver up ahead. But it’s what’s below you that can cause potential problems too. Yuma’s notoriously dry climate can cause oil to gather on the streets. That creates a slippery surface once rain hits the ground. Yuma’s Rural Metro Fire Department spokeswoman Charlie McMurdie says, “And all of those come to the surface when it rains and it makes the road slick, so if your tires are not in good working condition they could also be bald and create an even bigger emergency.”
To avoid an emergency situation auto expert with Accurate Automotive, Russell McCloud, explains how to inspect your tires to make sure they’re safe for the road. Russell said,”In the groove of the tread, and these will be equally spaced around the tire. When the tread wears enough that that tread bar is equal to the height of the tread next to it, then it’s definitely time to replace the tire.”
To be fully braced for the rain, functioning windshield wipers are also in order for full visibility. Russell says,”They chatter across the windshield, and obviously they don’t wipe away the water very well so that’s a classic case of sun baked windshield wipers.”
So you’re looking ahead, you’re covered on the ground, but what about behind you? Drivers excited to finally see rain can’t wait to dive both wheels into large puddles for a fun splash. McMurdie says, “Before you decide to go play in that puddle and make that big giant splash, take into consideration who’s behind you because it may be a motorcycle and they may not be too happy when you’re done.”


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