Driving tips for inclement weather, power outages

WASHINGTON – Drivers should keep these tips in mind for navigating their way safely during and after the oncoming storm:

  • If traffic lights are out or if they’re on but flashing red in all directions, treat those intersections as four-way stops – this is mandated by law in Virginia, D.C. and Maryland
  • Drivers must turn headlights on when using windshield wipers – this is mandated by law in Virginia, D.C. and Maryland
  • When road conditions are poor, the posted speed is not necessarily the safe speed
  • Never drive through a flooded road, because drivers have no idea how deep the water might be

Most tires with tread will wipe the road’s surface the way a windshield wiper cleans the windshield. But as a car’s speed increases, tires start to ride on a layer of water as if they were waterskis.

At 55 miles an hour in a strong rainstorm, a car may lose complete contact with the road. As soon as drivers feel like they’re losing control, they should take their foot off the gas pedal, hold the steering wheel firmly and allow the car’s speed to decrease until control is regained.

WTOP’s Rosemary Frisino Toohey contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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