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L.A. traffic treacherous in rainy weather

October 13, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
There was a lot of traffic trouble Tuesday in Southern California as people found themselves caught up in a storm for the first time in months. Drivers in the Griffith Park area were facing problems all day Tuesday, making the daily commute extra difficult.They played out all over town: a spin-out on the southbound lanes of the 101 Freeway in Woodland Hills; a jack-knifed big rig at the 405 and 5 interchange in Sylmar; and on the northbound lanes of the 5 Freeway at Van Nuys, a car went out of control, crashing into an embankment.

"We keep telling people: slow down, slow down, slow down," said CHP Officer Miguel Luevano. "We can't say that enough."

Officer Luevano is with the California Highway Patrol. He says the common-sense factor sometimes seems to go out the window when it comes to rain-soaked roadways.

"People need to understand that they cannot drive the same way on a rainy day that they do on a dry day," said Luevano. "The most important thing to do is to slow down. Increase that following distance in case something does happen in front of you, you have enough space to stop."

And the hits kept coming. At about 1 p.m. a car overturned on the 5 near Osborne Street, seriously injuring the driver.

In all, there were 140 crashes Tuesday morning compared to 60 during the same time period last week.

"We saw the number of calls increase about 100 percent, so to say that we're busy out there would be an understatement," said Luevano.

The CHP says most accidents involve sharp turns, but there are other common pitfalls.

"Put down that cell phone," said Luevano. "Do not let a phone call distract you, especially on a rainy day like this when you need to focus on the driving."

Some drivers out Tuesday said the roads were treacherous.

"It's worse when it's raining 'cause it's so dangerous and slippery and icky," said Glendale resident Cindy Vickery.

"Mostly common sense and a lot of people don't have it anymore," said Glendale resident Victoria Kramer. "I think the driving age should be raised to 21 to begin with."

The CHP reminds everyone to check their windshield-wipers.

The CHP also reminds everyone driving with your headlights on is the law when there is a rain event and windshield-wipers are activated.

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