Safe driving tips during heavy rains - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Safe driving tips during heavy rains

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SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) -

South Mississippians are preparing for a deluge. Rain only makes conditions on the roadways more dangerous. There are extra precautions drivers should take to stay safe on wet roads.    

According to all forecasts, the rain is coming. Heavy rainfall is not a matter to take lightly, especially when it comes to driving.

Mississippi Highway Patrol Trooper Chase Elkins sees the dangers of driving in bad weather first hand. He said the majority of weather related accidents are due to rain. So, to prepare, he said there's a checklist to follow. First, windshield wipers.

"You don't usually think about whether or not you need windshield wipers until you're in the middle of a rainstorm, and it's not doing its job," said Elkins.

Elkins suggests checking your wipers before you need them to make sure you're good to go. That goes for headlights as well.

"The lawful thing is to make sure your headlights are on, but it's a good thing to check and make sure that your lights work before the rain happens," said Elkins.

It's a given that drivers should always focus on the road, especially in bad weather. Elkins has worked several accidents on the interstate that cause people to rubberneck.    

"It's just as dangerous as texting and driving or looking down playing with the cd player or any other distractions that we have inside the vehicle," said Elkins.

Elkins also reminds drivers to not try to brave standing water. You never know how deep it is. Plus, the water forms a layer between your tires and the road.

"So really you're driving on water, and it doesn't matter how big or small your vehicle is. You can still hydroplane," said Elkins.

Overall, Elkins said the best practice is to avoid driving in less than desirable conditions, but if you have to travel, take it slow.

"We're not in a race on the roads, so take your time and get there slowly and carefully," said Elkins.

Experts suggest not using cruise control when it's raining, and make sure to keep a safe distance between yourself and the cars in front of you. Also, make sure your tires are properly inflated. The PSI usually suggested for your tires is around 40.

Remember to stay up to date with the weather on WLOX News Now and with the WLOX First Alert Weather App.

Copyright 2016 WLOX. All rights reserved.

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