Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Tips for navigating Interstate 275 when it rains!

It's the summer season already, and by now if not already the summer thundershowers common to the Tampa Bay area are here. For those who are visiting us or on the afternoon commute home from work here are some tips for when you encounter our summer thundershowers on Interstate 275.

Driving in our summer thundershowers on Interstate 275 calls for special attention!

1. Most importantly, reduce your speed when you approach the rain and the trail of brake lights. 65 or 70 mph does not mean 65 or 70 mph all the time - you are supposed to drive in a reasonable and prudent manner when you approach an area of reduced visibility not only with rain but smoke or fog.

2. Ease up on your accelerator and don't attempt to stop suddenly - the oily slick interstate created by the rain is a recipe for an accident caused by skidding. If you have to use your brakes, tap on them lightly but slowly.

3. Give driving your 100% attention especially during the summer thundershowers - the cell phone call can wait until you are in a safe place.

4. The only time you want to use your 4-way flashers is if you are pulled over in an emergency situation. 4-way flashers are not meant to be used while your vehicle is in motion; in heavy rain someone can run into you thinking that you are stopped. Speaking of emergency situations if your vehicle breaks down for any reason please by all means pull over to the nearest shoulder so that you are not obstructing traffic in any way.

5. Turn on your headlights, even if you have daytime running lamps. The daytime running lamps do not turn on your vehicle's rear tail lights when you need it. Remember to turn them off when you reach your destination to avoid a dead battery. Besides, having headlights on during rain as well as fog or smoke is mandatory per Florida Statutes.

6. Allow extra time to get to your destination, especially if you have to be somewhere at a given time. Leave early if you can.

7. Make sure your wipers and tires are in excellent condition for the road. Also check your windshield washer reservoir periodically and replenish as needed. Sometimes a light rain occurs and you have to use your windshield washers on the road as well.

8. If you breakdown on Interstate 275 or any other highway in the Tampa Bay area, pull over in a safe place such as the nearest shoulder. You may call *FHP (*347) on your cell phone to request a road ranger be sent to your location.

If we can follow these safe practices for navigating Interstate 275 during the summer thundershowers we can get to our destinations safely especially during the rain! If you have any other safety tips for summer thunderstorm driving please feel free to reply at any time. Thanks!