Rainy weather brings slippery slopes


By Haley King

Senior Kylie Sheffield, gets into her car after school to drive home after a long, rainy day. (Photo by Haley King)
Senior Kylie Sheffield gets into her car after school to drive home after a long, rainy day. (Photo by Haley King)

Everyday teens are passing their road tests and joining the ranks of licensed drivers on the road. What new drivers may not know is that when rain falls, the road takes on a whole new characteristic making driving more dangerous.

Las Vegas roads are oiled to prevent them from cracking, due to the notorious dry heat. When the rain starts coming down, the oil seeps up from the ground causing the roads to become extra slippery. Even for experienced drivers that use extra caution and have more practice on the roads, the rain becomes a hazard to them and to all levels of drivers.

According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, on January 11, more than 143 accidents were reported in less than 10 hours. On a typical sunny day, an estimate of 36 crashes are reported.

The oiled streets are not the only problem when driving. Because of the Las Vegas’ arid environment, the desert soil cannot hold the water when it rains, leading to flooded streets, and of course even more accidents.

Luckily, there is a program that students can take to help prepare for this type of disaster. Drivers Edge is a free program in Las Vegas that not only teaches skid control, but also evasive lane change maneuvers, ABS braking exercises, and panic braking instruction. The program is taught by professional race drivers and performance driving instructors.

There are several things students can do to ensure safety from the outside world of driving. Albrightstoddard.com suggests regularly checking windshield wipers and tires, using headlights during the day, watching and making sure not to go over the speed limit, leaving plenty of space between the car ahead, and not braking suddenly. They also suggest that drivers remember to allow extra time to get to their destinations.

Rain in Vegas is a rarity, but it does happen so take a rain check when it does. Safety should always be the number one priority.