Driving in Hazardous Conditions
As Floridians, most of us are not used to driving in hazardous conditions such as snow or ice. At the same time, over the holidays many people make plans to travel and visit loved ones, and may end up encountering these kinds of conditions on the way. Even in the sunshine state, rain and fog can make driving dangerous, and hazardous road conditions are a leading cause of car accidents and injuries. Whether you have plans to travel over the winter months or will only be driving locally, knowing how to handle dangerous road conditions can help to ensure that both you and your loved ones stay safe.
The Impact of Bad Weather on Road Conditions
According to the United States Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration, wind, rain, and temperature extremes can have a potentially dangerous impact on driver capabilities, vehicle performance, traffic flow, and crash risk. Dangerous driving conditions result in over 1.3 million car accidents each year. Watch out for the following conditions when on the road this winter:
- High winds, which can affect visibility, and result in problems with traffic flow and debris in the roadway;
- Rain and snow, which can also affect visibility while making road surfaces slick so that your vehicle is harder to control, and your tires have less tractions;
- Fog, which makes it impossible to see more than a couple of feet in front of you, snarling up traffic and resulting in an increase in automobile collision with other drivers as well as with objects. Extra moisture in the air can also make roads slippery, and cause damages to road surfaces.
Safety Tips for Driving in Hazardous Condition
Winter driving is not only dangerous but it can be frightening as well, so be alert for drivers who have pulled over or are going under the speed limit while traveling. The American Automobile Association (AAA) recommends the following tips for winter driving:
- Avoid driving when you are fatigued. Winter weather demands increased focus on multiple factors;
- Do not use cell phones or text while driving. Keep your attention firmly on the road in front of you;
- In chilly temperatures, keep your gas tank half full to avoid fuel line freeze ups;
- Make sure your tires have good tread and are properly inflated;
- Avoid using your parking brake in cold, snowy, and rainy conditions;
- Do not use cruise control when driving on wet or slippery surfaces; and
- Do not warm up your vehicle in the garage or other enclosed area.
Of course, always wear your seat belt, avoid drinking if you plan to drive, and allow extra time for getting to your destination.
Reach Out to an Experienced Florida Car Accident Lawyer Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, contact our experienced Florida car accident lawyer today. At the Law Firm of William E. Raikes III, we understand the serious injuries that can result from these accidents, and provide aggressive legal representation to assist you in getting the compensation you deserve. Serving all of Fort Pierce, Port Saint Lucie, Vero Beach, Saint Lucie, and Indian River Counties, contact our office today for a free consultation.