With the holiday season in full swing, the Long Beach Police Department encourages everyone to follow all traffic laws, always pay attention whether you are a motorist, a bicyclist or a pedestrian, and do not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Officers will be looking for impaired driving throughout the holiday season and several DUI checkpoints and saturation patrols are planned. Additionally, vehicles that have been involved in DUI crashes are displayed throughout Long Beach with signage that reminds drivers of the consequences of choosing to drive while impaired.
In anticipation of increased travel and predicted wet winter, the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) is sharing this important message with travelers: Drive safely and be prepared for inclement weather at all times. The holiday season is one of the busiest travel times of the year with the likelihood of an increased number of vehicle crashes due, in part, to the influx of drivers on the roads. With a bit of foresight and some careful planning, you can help eliminate the stress of typical holiday travel and enjoy this time of year as planned.
The Office of Traffic Safety recommends the following precautions to aid travelers:
• Make sure your brakes, windshield wipers, defroster, anti-freeze, heater and lights are in top condition. Make sure your tires, including the spare, are properly inflated and the treads are in good condition.
• Visit www.storms.ca.gov
ahead of any expected heavy storm during this El Niño season. Get the latest weather report and check quickmap.dot.ca.gov
for current road conditions.
• Buckle seat belts, everybody, every trip. Wearing a seat belt is the best defense to prevent injury and death in a crash. Ensure children are buckled into properly installed child safety or booster seats.
• Remain alert. Constantly scan the road for brake lights in front of you. Part of being alert is to minimize distractions, like turning off or silencing your cell phone.
• If it’s raining hard, keep your vehicle in the middle lane since water tends to pool in outside lanes.
• Turn on your headlights in rainy, foggy or overcast conditions. Use low beams in fog or snow.
• Do not use cruise control during wet or snowy road conditions. Cruise control can cause skidding and loss of tire traction in winter conditions.
• In rain or snow, first slow down, then increase the following distance between you and the car in front. Stopping distances can double in rain, triple in snow.
• Never drive through running water that could be deeper than the bottom of your vehicle.
• In the event you find yourself hydroplaning or skidding, remember the following:
· Do not brake or turn suddenly. Take your foot off the gas until you slow enough to feel traction on the road again
· Turn your steering wheel in the direction of the skid and as you recover control, gently straighten the wheels
· If you need to brake, do so with light pumping action. If your vehicle has anti-lock brakes, then brake normally, because the vehicle’s computer will mimic a pumping action
• Carry an emergency kit. Build your own with tips found at www.ots.ca.gov/roadsideemergencykit
• Finally, don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs whether they be illicit or prescription. If you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, always designate a sober driver.
For more winter driving tips, visit: www.OTS.ca.gov/OTS and Traffic Safety