Caltrans advises motorists to prepare for rain-slickvalley roadways

Winter Storm Predicted to Deliver Heavy Rainfall over Weekend

Motorists should prepare this weekend for slick driving conditions and possible flooded roadways because of heavy rain predicted to pound the greater Sacramento Valley.

Caltrans advises motorists to allow extra time to reach their destination because of wet roads. Motorists also should be alert for gusty winds, flooded roadways, mudslides, downed trees and power lines.

The National Weather Service predicts this latest atmospheric river will arrive early Saturday and dump up to six inches of rain across the Sacamento Valley during the weekend. Snow and rain also are forecast in the Sierra foothills and over the mountain passes on Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 50.

Caltrans reminds motorists that water over the roadway reduces traction on tires and that it takes twice as long to stop on a wet highway than on a dry one. Visibility is also reduced in the rain.

Here are some tip for driving safely in the rain:

  • As a rule, don’t drive in water if you can’t see road markings. A vehicle can float in just one foot of water. It’s safer to turn around and find another route.
  • Try to stay in the middle lane where flooding is less likely.
  • Drive in the tracks of the vehicle in front of you.This allows the vehicle ahead to displace any standing water that’s on the road.
  • Reduce speed and allow extra space between vehicles.
  • If your vehicle starts to hydroplane, take your foot off the gas pedal, but don’t push hard on the brakes. Instead, apply the brakes in a steady manner and steer in the direction of the skid. For vehicles with anti-lock brakes, apply more pressure to the brakes, but avoid pumping them.
  • After driving through a puddle, tap the brake pedal to help dry out the brake pads.
  • Turn on headlights.
  • Make sure your windshield wipers are in good condition.

Information about flood preparedness for the upcoming storm is available from the National Weather Service at:

Caltrans will issue updates on Twitter @CaltransDist3 and on Facebook at CaltransDistrict3.

For real-time traffic, click on Caltrans QuickMap at:  Weather information is available from the National Weather Service.

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