Wet weather makes for tricky travel season

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - With Christmas right around the corner, many people are getting ready to leave town for the holidays.

Alabama State Troopers say safety is top of mind and it should be for you too--especially since rainy weather could affect travel plans.

Alabama State Troopers are making their presence known this Christmas.

"More trooper cars probably on the side of the road, blue lights going," says Sergeant Steve Jarrett.

He's no stranger to the holiday hustle and is used to working long hours over Christmas. So are others like him.

"Every available trooper will be working during this holiday period," he says.

And no matter how busy the bi-ways are, he says bad weather always has the potential to make things worse.

"Slow your speed.  If your windshield wipers are on, your headlights should be on," says Jarrett.

Officials say traveling in the rain can be extremely dangerous especially if the roads are congested. So, there are a few things you need to make sure are good to go on your car before you hit the highway.

"Wiper blades, headlights," says Jerry Higgins, owner of Jerry Higgins tire store in downtown Montgomery.

And of course...tires.

Higgins says without proper pressure and tread, driving in the rain can be deadly!

"In order not to hydroplane and slip off the road, tire pressure is number one," he says.

When it comes to tread, he has an easy way of making sure yours is ready for the road. And all it takes is a penny.

"You put the head right here and put it down in the groove of the tread and push down on it...get your finger even with it and pull it out.  If you're still seeing plenty of the head then you've got plenty of tread.  If it gets down to where you don't see the head, then it's too slick."

State Troopers say speed limits are set for normal conditions.  But with wet weather, they encourage drivers to slow down especially if there's a risk of hydroplaning.

They also ask if you see them stopped on the side of the road, please move over if it's safe.

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