White-Knuckling the 60 Blog

Image result for driving in the rain image

Be strong, things will get better.  It might be stormy now, but rain doesn’t last forever.

Southern California is experiencing a rain storm today.  Tonight, the local news informed viewers that we were going to see the most powerful winter storm in 7 years.  Last night, we were told we would see the worst rain in 14 years.  Frankly, any time it rains here, we get nonstop all-afternoon news (which preempted Ellen today!) and it is a big deal.  In my neighborhood, the local streets tend to flood a bit when there’s a lot of rain, and some of the trees don’t stand a chance in the wind.

When I left my office building tonight and walked to the garage, I couldn’t open my umbrella because the wind was so strong.  Driving home from work, I took the streets instead of the freeway.  It seemed to be darker than usual, and the rain was the heaviest I’d seen it in a long time.  I had my wipers on triple speed and the defrosters on the front and rear windows.

The rain was pelting so loudly that I couldn’t hear the radio.  And I didn’t want to turn the radio up too much because I had to concentrate on my driving.  I swear, I don’t think I swallowed for 20 minutes while I was driving on a quiet dimly lit street.  I kept thinking about those tips I learned in driving school 45 years ago (what the hell?).

Keep both hands on the wheel in case the wind begins to move your vehicle.

Take your time. Slowing down is the only way to keep your vehicle from hydroplaning.

Waiting a few minutes, rather than rushing to your destination, can be a safer plan when it is raining.

Give other vehicles more space.  Add one to two extra seconds of follow-time in the rain, which gives you and the cars behind you more time to react to traffic.

And finally, the real no-brainer:  Turn your lights on to help other vehicles see you.  California is one of many states that require the use of headlights during rain, even in broad daylight.

I learned to drive when I was 15-16, but I never had a reason to drive in New York.  I never drove in snowy weather, and I’m sure some of you are thinking that driving in the rain “ain’t no big thing.”  Trust me, it really is!



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