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Hurricane Newton heading toward Borderland; rain starts Tuesday

Safety tips for drivers

Storm Driving Safety tips

EL PASO, Texas - An ABC-7 First Alert is in effect. Hurricane Newton is heading our way from the Pacific Ocean, and is poised to bring a lot of rain to the Borderland midweek.

It will bring cooler temperatures and the threat of flash flooding. We could see some heavy rains, especially east of the Rio Grande. The system is moving northwestward up the Mexican coast. 

Heavy rain and high winds could make for dangerous conditions for drivers. Safety experts recommend being on the lookout for for tractor-trailers and recreational vehicles. Drivers of high-profile vehicles may have a harder time staying in their lane.

Here are some more tips from the Las Cruces Police Department to help keep you and your family safe while driving.

Allow more travel time when driving in wet weather. When coming to a stop, begin slowing down sooner and apply gentle brake pressure. Avoid slamming on the brakes.

Allow for greater distance between vehicles. In normal driving conditions, it is recommended to travel at least two seconds behind another vehicle. During wet weather, it is recommended to increase that distance.

Give larger vehicles, such as trucks and buses, more room for stops and turns. Avoid making sudden turns or lane changes.

Drive around puddles, as sitting water may be deeper than it appears to be.

Never attempt to drive through flooded arroyos or running water. Even when driving a large vehicle, such as a truck or an SUV, fast-moving water can easily overcome it.

Drive with headlights on and be alert to surrounding traffic and changing weather conditions.
If rain is too heavy or streets are flooded, pull over to an area a safe distance from the roadway - in a parking lot or away from traffic - until conditions improve.
 
Drivers are also reminded to slow down and safely change lanes, if possible, when approaching an emergency vehicle with lights flashing. Passing vehicles should maintain a safe distance between their lane of traffic and that of  the emergency responder.

If the emergency vehicle is approaching from the rear, drivers are required to slow down, safely merge to the right and come to a complete stop until the emergency vehicle passes.

One of the big dangers when driving in the rain is hydroplaning. This can happen when a driver is traveling too fast. The vehicle's tires can travel on a thin layer of water rather than grip the surface of the road.

One safety tip is to take your foot off the gas. If your vehicle hydroplanes, it can be difficult to steer and brake. That combination could lead a driver to lose control of the vehicle. 

One of the easiest ways to stay safe during heavy rain and high winds is to slow down. Experts say that is the best way to keep your vehicle from hydroplaning. 

Stay with ABC-7 for the latest developments with this system. Here's a link to our interactive radar: http://www.kvia.com/weather/interactive-radar.



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