Drivers Urged To Use Extra Caution During Inclement Weather

Umbrellas were out all over town today as rain showers continued to soak the area. Photo by Carol A. Clark/


SANTA FE – The New Mexico Department of Transportation is urging motorists to be extra cautious on roadways during severe weather. Currently, many areas of the state are experiencing rain, hail and/or flooding.

Safety tips for driving in inclement weather:

  • If possible, stay off the road during heavy thunderstorms. Large flashes of lightning can temporarily blind and disorient drivers, and the accompanying high winds and heavy rain can create deadly driving conditions.
  • Never drive through moving water if you can’t see the ground through it; your vehicle could be swept off the road.
  • Watch out for places where floodwater collects, particularly low-lying roads adjacent to streams, and dips under rail or highway bridges.
  • Avoid driving through deep water, because it can cause serious damage to a modern vehicle’s electrical system.
  • Maintain proper following distance (3 second rule). This needs to be increased in wet weather.
  • Don’t follow large trucks or buses too closely, because the spray created by their large tires can reduce vision.
  • Stay toward the middle lanes — water tends to pool in outside lanes.
  • When you need to stop or slow, do not brake hard or lock the wheels and risk a skid. Maintain mild pressure on the brake pedal.

The New Mexico Department of Transportation’s road advisory website,, is being updated around the clock with conditions about our state and interstate roadways.  Information on the website can also be obtained by calling 511.