Ways to Stay Safe While Driving in Bad Weather
While living in Texas, we can count on plenty of sunny, warm days throughout the year, but every once in a while, mother nature likes to throw a curve ball with bad weather that can include hurricanes, tornadoes, thunderstorms, severe rain, and even snow and black ice.
The most common bad weather that Texas drivers will face is due to severe rain, flooding, and thunderstorms, so it is important that you keep a few of these tips and best practices in mind while driving in bad weather in order to keep you and your family safe.
Wind may not seem like a major risk, but severe wind can cause problems for many drivers and it requires special considerations.
Strong wind can occur virtually anywhere, but it is more prone to happening in big wide-open spaces where there is nothing to interrupt the strong gusts. Certain areas can also act as wind funnels where the gusts are concentrated and even stronger.
Be sure to be mindful of any large vehicles on the road, like semi-trucks or tall tractor trailers, as their height makes them more susceptible to wind and they may have difficulty staying in their lane. A severe gust can also potentially flip a high and top-heavy vehicle.
Anticipate gusts based on the terrain and always maintain a firm grip on the wheel as the wind can cause your vehicle to move or start pushing into another lane where you may cause an accident.
Severe downpours are common across much of Texas and can drastically reduce visibility on the road. Not only that, but they also pose the danger of hydroplaning, which is when a vehicle is traveling too fast for the heavy rain conditions and causes the vehicle’s tires to travel on a thin layer of water rather than gripping the surface of the road.
Hydroplaning can make steering or braking difficult or even impossible momentarily, and can even cause some drivers to lose control of their vehicles.
The most important thing is to slow down in heavy rain. Be mindful of the reduced visibility and slick road conditions, which are often slickest soon after it begins to rain as the oils on the roadway mix with the water. Losing a few minutes of your commute is much more preferable than losing control and getting in a wreck.
While driving in the rain, you should also be sure to always drive with your headlights on, which can help ensure that other vehicles can see you, despite the poor visibility.
Also, be aware that you will need an additional one to two seconds of stopping time due to the rain, so it is important to not follow as closely to other vehicles and allow plenty of time to react given the conditions.
While it is always important to avoid distracted driving, it becomes even more critical while driving in inclement weather, so be sure to keep your eyes on the road and away from the cellphone or playing with the radio.
These are just a few ways to stay safe while driving in bad weather in Texas, but unfortunately every big storm brings on a slew of accidents or wrecks on the road. If you’ve been involved in an accident that was no fault of your own, then you should contact the experienced auto accident and car wreck lawyers at Fears Nachawati.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation legal consultation by calling (866) 705-7584 or visiting one of our offices located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, San Antonio, and Austin.