Driving in bad weather means decreased visibility, less reliable road conditions, and increased risk for auto accidents. According to the U.S. Federal Highway Commission, some 6,000 people are killed and over 445,000 people injured in weather-related crashes annually. Read on to learn how to protect yourself when driving in heavy rain and wind.
5 Tips to Avoid Weather-Related Auto Accidents
1. Ensure Windshield Wipers Work
You don’t want to find out your windshield wipers aren’t working once you’re in the middle of a rainstorm on the freeway. Check your wiper blades regularly; they should sweep cleanly across the window without leaving streaks. If they are moving irregularly or jumpily, leaving residue behind or making strange noises, it’s time to get your blades changed.
2. Check Headlights & Brake Lights
Working headlights and brake lights are also essential to safe driving in bad weather. Headlights improve your vision in front of you even in mid-day weather, while brake lights make you more visible to those behind you and can mitigate the risk of rear-end collisions. Check your lights regularly and always use them when weather is bad.
3. Turn off Cruise Control
Turn off cruise control if you usually use it. Studies have shown that it increases the risk of hydroplaning, so take a firm grip on the wheel. This is especially important in windy weather, when unexpected gusts can actually impact a car’s trajectory.
4. Slow Down & Give Space
The speed limit is designed with good weather in mind. Slow down in bad weather, when rain makes roads slick and increases the time needed to stop. It’s also smart to give other vehicles more space, reducing your odds of rear-end collisions.
5. Beware Other Vehicles
Just because you are taking extra care on the roads in bad weather doesn’t mean other drivers are. Keep an eye on other cars—especially larger vehicles like trucks. These will be more strongly impacted by elements like heavy winds, and they require more time to come to a complete stop.
If you are in an auto accident caused by another driver, you may consider taking legal action. Carey & Hamner, P.C. can help. Located in Dothan, AL, these lawyers also serve the areas of Enterprise and Ozark. Known for the personalized care they give their clients, they will fight aggressively for your rights. Find out more about their expertise in auto accident cases online. For an appointment, call (855) 435-4797.