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Traveling along our roads lately has become more treacherous thanks to persistent rainy weather. It creates an added risk in Brunswick County, where it seems motorists are surrounded by waterways at all times.
Although water is often visible on the surface of the road during and after a heavy rainfall, what motorists do not or cannot see is where the real danger lies.
“The road could be washed out and the water may be much deeper than you realize. Even if it appears intact, the roadway could collapse under the weight of your vehicle,” reads a 2009 report by the National Safety Commission. “Less than an inch of water can cause a driver to lose control. As little as six inches of rushing water has enough force to push your car off the road. Your car can float in as little as two feet of water and you could be washed away into a flooded stream or river.”
Roads are the slickest once rain has begun to fall, especially if it has not rained for a while, according to the North Carolina Department of Transportation. For the first 10 to 15 minutes, the rain combines with dirt, dust, oil, grease and rubber to create a slippery surface.
It is best if motorists stay off the roads in bad weather, but it is not always realistic. Here are some tips from NCDOT to help drivers navigate wet roads more safely:
For NCDOT real-time road condition reports, call 511 or go to http://tims.ncdot.gov/tims/RegionSummary.aspx?re=9.
Please drive carefully, no matter what the weather.