Safe Driving Tips During Severe Rainstorms
We’re really fortunate to be in a state as beautiful as Florida. But if you’ve lived here for any period of time, you know that we can get some strong thunderstorms. At certain parts of the year, the storms can be so predictable you can almost set your watch by them. They can crank out some torrential rain in a short amount of time, making roads incredibly treacherous. The accidents that result can often result in horrible injuries.
If you find yourself in this situation, and you’re involved in a wreck caused by someone else’s recklessness or carelessness, get in touch with the Jones Law Group as soon as you can. We’ll investigate to determine why the accident occurred, and work to make sure you obtain the compensation you deserve for all of your damages.
Here are a few tips that will hopefully help make sure you get to your destination safely should you ever encounter a severe thunderstorm while driving.
Make Sure Your Car is in Good, Working Condition
You should always check your vehicle to make sure the tires are good before ever getting behind the wheel. But this will be even more important if rainy weather is expected. Also, check to see if your windshield wipers are working properly. If they’re not, get them replaced immediately – it could very well mean the difference between a safe trip and a potentially fatal tragedy.
Use Roads You’re More Familiar With if Possible
A Florida thunderstorm can seemingly come out of nowhere. The more familiar you are with the route you’re taking, the better the chances you’ll be able to avoid an accident. You’ll know, for example, stretches of road that make big turns. Or areas that tend to be more prone to flooding.
But if you’re in a strange area, don’t panic. Just be as observant as possible for low-lying areas that could flood. And be extremely careful so that you’re not surprised by a sudden turn, or a cut-off that you didn’t expect.
If you typically drive in an area that could be at risk of a flood, try an alternate route. There’s a good chance you’ll be better off using the highway instead.
Don’t Use Your High-Beams
It’s natural that you might want to turn on your bright lights when it’s hard to see during a storm. Actually, however, that will never be a good idea. Sure, you should make sure your headlights are on, because that will also engage your taillights, making it easier for other motorists to see your car.
But flipping on your brights will actually make it harder to see, because the light will reflect off of the wet surface of the road. It could also make it more difficult for others to see, increasing the risk of an accident. If the rain is coming down so heavy that it’s blinding, turn on your hazard lights until it lets up.
Drive Under the Speed Limit
A good rule of thumb is to allow at least five seconds of distance between the front of your car and the rear of the vehicle in front of you. If the rain is incredibly heavy, you don’t need to feel obligated to drive the speed limit. If you’re on a highway, get over in the right lane if that makes you feel more comfortable. You can’t go so slow that you become a hazard, but there’s nothing wrong with traveling a few miles under the limit.
Remember, those speed limit signs you see are meant for perfect road conditions – not a driving rainstorm.
Don’t Drive Through Puddles
You’re obviously going to be in a hurry to get to safety if the heavens open up. But that doesn’t mean you should ever drive through any kind of standing water if you can avoid doing so. If you can’t see the markings on the road in front of you, then the water is too deep to try and drive through. Either pull off to the side of the road or use a different route.
When someone chooses to drive through a puddle, they can easily lose control and hydroplane, possibly spinning into oncoming traffic. Water could also splash up into the engine, resulting in your car stalling.
Avoid Driving Altogether, if You Can
Your best bet, of course, will simply be to stay where you are if you know that big storms are coming. That could mean remaining at home for a little while instead of going to the store, or staying at the office a bit longer until you know the weather is calming down. A little delay in your schedule will be a lot better than risking getting into a huge, potentially devastating collision.
If you’re from a northern state, would you drive if you knew that a huge snow or ice storm was about to hit? The same principle should apply to a thunderstorm. The good thing is that you now live in Florida, and that storm probably won’t last very long. Up north you might be stranded at home for days.
What to do If You’re Involved in an Accident During a Rainstorm?
You’re a safe driver. You know how to adjust accordingly to changing conditions, and you do everything you possibly can to stay safe. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for many of the people sharing the road with you.
If you’re in an accident because someone else chose to ignore precautions during torrential rain, the attorneys with the Jones Law Group will be ready to help. We’ll do all we can to uncover the evidence needed to prove that you deserve full and fair compensation.