If you’re planning to drive up the coast this winter there may be more needed than just a driving buddy and a full tank of gas.
All predictions are leaning towards this winter being the wettest on record in California. Given the 5-year long drought a wet winter could be welcomed…unless you are stuck driving in it while on a road trip.
When that happens you want your car to be rainy weather road trip ready, especially when traveling the coast roads to Sea Ranch.
Tips to Ready your Car for a Rainy Weather Road Trip
Now, before El Niño arrives, is the time to take some preventative measures for your car. The California Highway Patrol put together a handy check list to ensure your vehicle is ready for your rainy weather road trip where ever you may go this winter. Use it to make your car rainy weather ready for your next road trip.
1. WIPER BLADES
- Wiper blades over a year old? Consider replacing them!
- If the blades don’t operate smoothly over dry or wet windshields, they aren’t doing their job.
- Top off your wiper fluid, and consider washer fluid with antifreeze properties.
- Effective windshield wipers are essential to safe driving in the rain!
- Tread depth should be no less than 4/32 of an inch for proper traction on wet roads.
- Measuring depth is easy! Put a quarter into the tire tread. If Washington’s head is covered, you are OK!
- Ensure tires are evenly worn, in good condition with no metal showing.
- Check tire pressure – Recommended pressure is usually shown on a label inside of the driver side door.
- Check all lights to ensure they are working properly, including headlights, taillights, and turn signals.
4. EMERGENCY KIT
- Have an emergency kit in the vehicle, including jumper cables, equipment to change a flat tire, and a first aid kit.
- Keep information handy if you have a roadside assistance service through your vehicle’s insurance company, or know your local resources if you experience a breakdown.
- If you are headed to a cold location, have warm blankets or clothing available in case you are stranded. Consider an ice scraper or snow brush!
5. DRIVING IN THE RAIN
- Rainy weather is blamed for hundreds of crashes, but in reality it is more a failure of the driver to adjust for wet conditions.
- Slow down in wet conditions.
- Turn your headlights on whenever there’s bad weather.
- Brake earlier, and leave extra following distance.
- If you cannot see out of your windshield, stop and delay your trip until it is safe to drive.
- If you see standing water, never drive through it! You never know how deep the water is, and you may get stuck!
This short video of driving the coast highway through the redwoods will give you an idea of what to expect on your way to Sea Ranch on a rainy day.
- At higher speeds, water can build up between your tire and the ground, causing you to lose traction and contact with the pavement.
If you hydroplane:
- Let off the accelerator, but do not brake
- Don’t put extra input into the steering wheel. Once you regain traction, you can lose control if you turn your wheel while hydroplaning.
- Slow down until you regain traction, and keep your speed slow.
7. CHECK THE WEATHER AND ROAD CLOSURES BEFORE YOU GO
Now that your car is ready for that next rainy weather road trip all that is needed to do is to click here for Northern California’s Severe Weather Summary Page before you leave to check for road conditions along the way.
These are just a few tips and tricks to keep you safe during wet and rainy weather. For more emergency information while staying at Sea Ranch be sure to visit our Emergency Information and Tips page on our website.
Have a question? Leave us a comment and we will answer to the best of our ability!
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