First fall rain causes traffic accidents in Bay Area

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (KGO) -- In the evening on Wednesday, a beautiful sunset on the Peninsula came at the price of a rainy morning commute.

Crashes clogged Bay Area freeways. The CHP says officers responded to more than 200 collision calls -- an increase of nearly 30 percent over a normal day.

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More than 200 is also the number of wiper blades sold at a Redwood City O'Reilly auto parts Wednesday.

"This is for my daughter's car. I'm just concerned about her safety," Carlos Ortega of Redwood City said, as he picked up wiper blades.

Ortega says navigating wet roadways is hazardous, not because of the rain, but because people don't match their speed to the slick conditions.

"People are driving like a normal day, but it's not," Ortega said.

In San Francisco, it rained hard enough to warrant windshield wipers, which means you must also turn on your headlights or face a ticket from CHP.

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"If it's raining hard, a lot of the water is coming off the roadway and if they don't have their headlights on their taillights are not lit, so then other vehicles can't see them," CHP spokesman Art Montiel said.

Montiel says his region on the Peninsula had four injury collisions related to weather. He's gearing up for more rain Thursday morning, and so should Bay Area commuters.

DRIVING TIPS: When driving in the rain remember to slow down and give yourself extra stopping distance on the road. It is California law you must turn on your headlights when it is raining or in stormy weather so other drivers can see your taillights. To take care of your car check your tire tread and make sure your wiper blades are in good condition.

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"I got new blades, but I went to install them and they didn't quite fit," Ortega said.

We can hope new wiper blades will get plenty of use this coming winter.

This rain is a good reminder to prepare for what's expected to be a very wet winter. Preparations are underway in the South Bay. Gutter cleaning companies in Campbell and San Jose tell ABC7 News they've been inundated with calls. Business is through the roof and some companies are booked months in advance.

VIDEO: Some Bay Area residents gearing up for rainy season

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