RICHMOND, Va. -- Forecasts are currently calling for the eastern and central regions of the Commonwealth to be significantly impacted by heavy rains and strong winds, and the Virginia State Police is encouraging drivers to avoid travel and take extra precautions while on the road.
State police advises residents to postpone travel plans and avoid driving when possible to prevent crashes during the storm,
If you have to travel during the storm, drivers are reminded to do the following:
· Slow your speed. Slowing your speed gives you more time to safely react and avoid a crash, downed trees and/or debris in the roadway. Drive your vehicle based on your ability to properly maintain control of your vehicle.
· Turn Around. Don’t Drown. Never drive through standing water. What looks like a puddle can be deep and swift-moving water. Turn around and find another, safer route to your destination.
· Don’t tailgate. You need increased stopping distance on wet road surfaces. Give yourself more space between vehicles traveling ahead of you in order to avoid rear-end collisions.
· Use headlights. Increasing your visibility helps you to avoid standing water and/or flooding. Headlights also help other drivers see you better, especially in a downpour when visibility is limited.
· Buckle Up. Most crashes that occur during inclement weather are caused by vehicles sliding off the road or other vehicles. Wearing your seat belt protects you from being thrown around the inside of your vehicle and suffering serious injury in a crash.
· Put down your phone. Having to drive in heavy rain requires a driver’s full, uninterrupted attention. Do not text and drive or shoot video of the bad conditions while driving, as these actions put you, your passengers and other vehicles at extreme risk of a crash and/or injury.
· Check Your Vehicle. Make sure your vehicle is in good working order for the conditions. Fill up the tank in advance. Check windshield wipers, tire tread, battery life, etc.
For the latest in road conditions and updates, please call 511 on a cell phone, download the App or go online to the VDOT Virginia Traffic Information Website at www.511virginia.org [511virginia.org].