New Bern Police Department offers tips to stay safe while driving in the rain

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NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — Rain can cause some roads across Eastern North Carolina to be more slick than usual.

Officers with the New Bern Police Department said they’ve been busy this week responding to car crashes.

“A lot of accidents we’ve had are single-vehicle accidents, where a vehicle runs off the roadway into the guide wires,” said Lt. Donald McInnis. “Those accidents are occurring on U.S. 70, but obviously when it’s raining, we get a lot of accidents regardless.”

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It’s a problem the police department sees often when there’s rain in the forecast.

“When it just starts to rain, especially within the first 10 or 15 minutes, the rain combines with the oils from the asphalt and vehicles and stuff like that and creates a slick surface,” said McInnis.

McInnis has some advice for driving on slick roads. First, don’t speed.

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“They need to drive at least 5 to 10 miles per house slower on wet pavement,” he said.

Next, McInnis said you should give yourself twice the normal following distance in the rain.

“With the road being very slippery, it takes twice as much time to stop,” he said.

McInnis warned people to be careful driving through standing water.

“Your vehicle can hydroplane at speeds as low as 30 miles an hour and as little as an eighth of an inch deep water,” he said.

McInnis said following these tips is especially important on the two-lane roads throughout Eastern North Carolina.

“You don’t have a median or any guide wires and stuff like that, you can go into oncoming traffic,” said McInnis.

He added people shouldn’t use cruise control in the rain. McInnis also said to allow yourself extra time to get to your destination so you can arrive safely.

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