When the weather is bad, it’s usually more likely that the roads will be dangerous and accidents have a higher chance of happening. It’s important to take stock of the weather and make sure you’re driving safely. But while you may do everything you can to avoid an accident, a another negligent driver may not do this and cause a collision.
To make sure you’re ready for poor driving conditions, let’s take a look at what the weather does to the road and what will probably happen as a result.
How Weather Affects Driving Conditions
The Federal Highway Administration lists the following poor weather conditions and how they affect the roads and driving. Knowing how these conditions could make the road more dangerous could help your driving expectations if you have to go out in poor weather.
- Precipitation. With rain, sleet, or snow, drivers may have visibility issues, their vehicle may have a reduced grip on the road, and piling snow can cause roadblocks. There may be more people driving slowly on the road and there’s a higher chance of accidents occurring. Municipal vehicles for road treatment may be present on the road.
- Wind Speed. The wind can reduce road visibility, especially if there’s snow. The snow can also create obstructions if the wind keeps blowing it into the lane. Vehicles may have issues remaining stable. This may slow down traffic and travel time and there’s an increased accident risk. Some roads may need to be closed off from the public and only vehicles that are built for handling the weather have access.
- Fog. Heavy fog also reduces visibility. Traffic may slow down and accidents are more likely. Some changes may be temporary speed limit reductions until the fog clears.
It’s important to remain cautious and alert when you’re navigating poor weather. You may be driving as safely as possible, but others around you may not exhibit the same behavior. So you have to be aware of the weather and the other vehicles around you.
Preparing for Winter Weather
As the weather gets colder, it’s important to make sure you’re doing everything you can to be ready for driving in winter weather. About 17 percent of all vehicle crashes happen in these conditions. It’s challenging to drive when the roads aren’t dry, but there are several steps you can take to make sure you’re prioritizing your safety.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), these are safety measures you can take for winter weather:
- Vehicle Prep. Take the time to give your car a tune-up before it gets cold. This way you can check your battery, tires, car systems, wipers, and coolant are ready for the temperature drop. The cold weather can affect these and you don’t want to run into an issue while you’re driving. Also, if you have snow tires for your car, make sure to get them on before it starts to snow.
- Driving Techniques. Allow yourself more time to get to your destination because you will most likely need more time in the winter. If there is snow or ice on your car, you have to clear it off so you can see and because it can fall off on the road and obstruct the view of drivers behind you. Also, you probably won’t be able to drive at the usual speed limit if the road is slippery. Added time constraints often prompt people to speed or ignore caution.
- Think Ahead. Check the weather before leaving, especially on longer trips. You may also want to have some alternative routes planned in case the one you use doesn’t work out. It’s also a good idea to be prepared if you get stuck. Have warm blankets, flashlights, jumper cables, a portable cell phone charger, flares, food, and water in your car.
Above all, it’s important to remember that no matter how the road conditions are, you have a responsibility to drive safely. Driving cautiously, giving other vehicles space, signaling turns and lane changes, and not being distracted are your best tools to avoiding an accident which may cause severe injuries.
Do You Need Legal Aid?
You deserve representation that will fight for your rights no matter what. Welsh & Welsh PC, LLO will hold the negligent party responsible for their actions and get you a favorable settlement. You can get in touch with us today for an obligation-free consultation. We’ll help you discuss your options and find the best way to proceed.