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CHP stats tell all: L.A. motorists can't drive in the rain

You know what they say: Angelenos don't know how to drive in the rain.

Many drivers didn't disprove the stereotype as they battled rain-slicked roadways during Thursday's storm; the California Highway Patrol reported more than five times as many accidents in an eight-hour period than on a non-rainy day.

Between 12:01 a.m. and 8 a.m. Thursday, there were about 188 collisions within the CHP's jurisdiction in Los Angeles County, the agency reported, compared to about 36 crashes in the same period a week ago. L.A. drivers can perhaps be cut a bit of slack since last Thursday was a holiday.

There were some major crashes — a big rig jackknifed on the 5 Freeway in Glendale and a fatal crash closed the 134 in Toluca Lake — that snarled the morning commute, but CHP Officer Ed Jacobs said the most common incidents were single-car spin outs.

"People are driving too fast for the roadway," Jacobs said. "Slow down. It's really simple. There is no other thing to do."

Jacobs called the number of accidents reported so far Thursday "huge" but said it was typical for a rainy day in Los Angeles.

But is it proof L.A. drivers can't handle the rain?

"You'll have to draw your own conclusion on that one," Jacobs said.


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— Kate Mather

Follow Kate Mather on Twitter or Google+.

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