NewsLocal News


An estimated 8.8 million Southern Californians expected to travel this holiday season

CHP car accident
Posted at 10:02 AM, Dec 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-23 13:02:02-05

This holiday travel season in expected to be one for the record books with an estimated 8.8 million Southern Californians expected to travel, according to AAA.

"Good luck to you," is Atascadero resident Rhys Jansen's message to people traveling this holiday season.

"It's scary, yeah. I had an accident last week," Jansen added.

He says dangerous road conditions caused by heavy rain led to an accident on his way to work last week when his car hydroplaned during the last rainstorm.

"I mean, I'm used to driving in weather and it was still dangerous for me," he said.

Lompoc resident Ken Pagan says it's important for drivers to follow the rules of the road during this busy travel week.

"This weather is crazy and you don't need to be just as crazy as the weather," Pagan said.

The rain can make driving conditions more dangerous and that combined with increased travel has the California Highway Patrol staffing up with more officers on the road to ensure safety.

"Well, with the holidays coming up we actually have our maximum enforcement period starting on the 24th. So that's just basically 75-80% of our available workforce is actually going to be on patrol," said Miguel Alvarez, California Highway Patrol San Luis Obispo Area Public Information Officer.

Officer Alvarez offered tips for driving safely in the rain.

"So with the rain obviously speed is the biggest factor. It's already a big factor when we have to deal with traffic collisions, probably the primary collision factor that we already deal with is speed," Alvarez said.

Alvarez says when using the brakes, don't hit them too hard, it can cause skids and uncontrolled slides. This is especially important at higher elevations.

"As far as the snow goes, you know the one thing you've got to be concerned about as you're getting higher up into the mountains is the temperature is starting to drop, so it's getting colder. There might be some icy patches, some snow on the roadway, but again speed is a huge factor, slowing down," Alvarez said.

For more information about road conditions where you're traveling, check out the Caltrans QuickMap.