HomeCity NewsOfficials Urge Caution to Drivers in Storm

Officials Urge Caution to Drivers in Storm

A powerful winter storm over Southern California is being felt throughout Glendale and other surrounding cities — blanketing the region with heavy rain and hail, strong winds and snowfall in L.A. County’s mountains, making road conditions potentially treacherous.
The National Weather Service issued a rare blizzard warning in the L.A. County mountains early Friday morning, which will remain in place until 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25. With the influx of extreme weather conditions forecast into next week — hazardous driving conditions are intensifying.
California Highway Patrol Officer Jonathan Boyd relayed driver safety information for Glendale residents and others during the storm and its aftermath.
Boyd emphasized that it’s important for drivers to slow down and that many of the car accidents CHP respond to are caused by motorists driving too fast for road conditions.
“We’re experiencing a lot of rain … [and] with this weather, it’s a matter of physics. Your car can’t always properly respond in rain or snowy weather,” Boyd said.
In poor visibility caused by fog and rain, it’s important for drivers to keep their headlights on low rather than high beams for increased safety of all motorists, Boyd said. Also, keeping headlights on night and day during stormy weather is crucial, especially while windshield wipers are active, which is required by the state vehicle code.
During heavy rainfall, it is common for flooding to occur on streets and freeways, such as the north 5 freeway, where pools of water build along the sides of the interstate.
“Try to stay away from the ‘fast lane’ or HOV carpool lane; try to stay in the middle [of the freeway] … and leave plenty of space between you and other vehicles,” Boyd said about driving the freeways.
Boyd said CHP plans on maintaining a “visual presence” for the public as a reminder to drive at slower, safer speeds. If necessary, CHP may shut down roadways due to flooding, however, that safety measure is discretionary, he said.
If residents would like updates on road conditions or closures, check CHP social media or call (800) 427-7623.
For CHP tips on winter driving in the snow, residents can visit CHP.ca.gov/programs-services/services-information/winter-driving-tips. The site gives drivers information about tire chain requirements, ideal tools to have on-hand and other tips during snowy and icy conditions.
Boyd also mentioned the Freeway Service Patrol, a joint program between the California Department of Transportation, CHP and the local transportation agencies. FSP is a free service meant to help drivers, throughout L.A. County and other areas, who need servicing on congested urban freeways.
If residents find themselves broken down on the freeway, and if they can move safely to the righthand side of the road, Boyd suggests using FSP by calling 511. FSP services include tire changes, towing and even supplying a free gallon of gas.

— City News Service contributed to this report.

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