Monday, March 19 , 2018, 2:55 am | Fair 41º


Help Prevent Accidents During El Niño With These Driving Tips for Wet Conditions

Santa Barbara County has seen an unusually large number of serious vehicle accidents in the last several weeks. With the anticipation of the approaching inclement weather, drivers need to be extra cautious while driving.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department offers these tips that will keep you and your passenger’s safe while driving on wet roads.

» Routinely check your tires. Check the tires for tread depth and proper inflation. 

» Slow down. As rain falls, it mixes with grime and oil on the road, creating slick conditions.

» Know how to recover from a skid. Remember not to slam on the brakes. Apply firm, steady pressure to the brakes and steer the car in the direction of the skid.

» Keep your distance from the car ahead. It takes about three times longer to break on wet roads than on dry roads.

» Turn your headlights on. Not only do they help you see the road but they also help other drivers see you.

» First rains make the road very slippery. First rains make the roads the most difficult to drive on, as the mud and oil combines with the water and forms a rather slippery layer.

» Dry your brakes after driving through standing water. If you have driven through standing water, apply the brakes lightly for a short time to dry them.

» Make sure that your wipers are in good condition and functioning properly. California law requires that if you have your wipers on, your vehicles headlights must also be on.

More information on safe driving and storm preparedness can be found at

Capt. Dave Zaniboni is the information officer for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

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