Almost everyone who has taken driver’s education in school knows that the first 15 minutes after a rainstorm are the most dangerous time to be on the road. During that time, oil that has sunk into the pavement over time comes to the surface, causing roads to be incredibly slick and potentially dangerous.
ABC Channel 23 reported that the California Highway Patrol saw a significant increase in weather-related crashes in Bakersfield after the fall’s first rainy day. According to a spokesperson for the CHP in its Bakersfield office, that on Wednesday, officers had responded to more than double the number of accidents they would on any other typical day. By Wednesday afternoon, the CHP had responded to more than 50 crashes.
Among the crashes in the area was a three-vehicle crash which involved the cruiser of a law enforcement officer from the Kern County Sheriff’s Department, and another two vehicles out as it entered the southbound lanes of the 99 freeway, and an overturned cement truck as it entered the Highway 58 on-ramp. It was cleared away at around 5:00 p.m. – just in time for rush hour traffic.
CHP Officer Robert Rodriguez told reporters that most of the accidents are related to speed, and it’s important for motorists to slow down. “All it really takes is that one person that’s in a hurry that’s running late for work or maybe they just don’t care what’s happening out there,” Rodriguez said. “That one person can really be a danger to everyone else that’s on the roadway.”
The CHP advises that during wet periods, drivers slow down, turn on their headlights, keep a safe distance from other vehicles and give themselves time and distance to stop.