Central Coast

Dear Jon: Wet roads make for treacherous driving conditions

Highway patrol reminds motorists to slow down

With the storms pummeling the Central Coast, it's no surprise warnings are going out to slow down. Not to mention, I get questions about road safety during these times. Mike emailed me and asked, "Dear Jon, when it rains, why do all the crazies come out on the roads?" We can all relate to that.

This week big storms rolled in and there are a couple of things that affect the way we drive in these conditions. The California Highway Patrol reminds us that after the extreme dry weather, the oils that have collected on the asphalt start to ooze out and create slippery conditions on the roads.

The other issue is stopping distance, which becomes much greater in wet conditions.

I found a website from Forensic Dynamics that includes a "stopping distance calculator." You input miles per hour and you choose your road conditions.

When I chose "dry asphalt" as the road condition and input "50" miles per hour and clicked calculate, the stopping distance was almost 120 feet. When I changed to "wet asphalt", the stopping distance increased to 152 feet! This is an approximate since it doesn't take into consideration reaction time, road slope and wear rate on tires or the depth of water or snow. When I input "ice" as the road condition the stopping distance was over 557 feet.

You get the point, when the roads are wet or icy, reaction time and stopping distance increase. Not to mention you can't see as well, either. And many drivers aren't prepared for the conditions and drive way too fast for conditions.

So in rain and inclement weather, please slow down. You'll make it safer for you and others on the road. And don't forget to look out for the other guy.

If you have a question for me, send me an email on the link above or you can message me on Facebook at "Jon K Brent KIONKCOY" or Twitter at "DearJonKBrent."

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