How to improve your driving when the rain arrives

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Many Southern Californians are wondering: what happened to El Niño?

The torrential rains brought by a conveyor belt of storms has not materialized this winter, but scientists say it’s still coming.

El Niño expert Bill Patzert of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory says the squalls are coming a month later than predicted, arriving in late February and continuing through March, possibly into April.

So it’s time to get prepared to drive in the rain.

Most people are at greatest risk driving when it’s raining outside. In 39 of the 50 states, including California, more deadly accidents occur in rainy conditions than in snow and ice, according to analysis of National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Making sure your car’s exterior equipment is rain-ready is key. Brakes, windshield wipers and headlights must be working properly.

However, your tires are most critical. Experts recommend you replace your tires at 4/32-inches of tread depth or you risk hydroplaning in the rain.

Read more tips from experts to get rain ready at LA Times.com