Bad Weather Conditions and Highway Accidents
In Miami, the Perazzo Law Firm shares insight into how traffic accidents can be averted when motorists take the necessary precautions when operating their vehicles on Florida highways under poor weather conditions.
Driving in bad weather always presents a challenge to motorists, no matter how experienced a driver is or what kind of vehicle he or she is driving. Accidents in bad weather are not always the result of adverse weather conditions such as fog, rain, or heavy winds, but rather, how motorists apply their driving skills and what measures they take to insure save driving. Knowing what to do when driving through fog or heavy rains requires that motorists adjust their driving speeds to conditions of the road and flow of traffic. Speeding is one of the main causes of accidents that occur in bad weather conditions and drivers must learn to slow down when roads are wet and traction and visibility are reduced. Braking distances must also be considered when driving under rainy skies as motorists can easily lose control of their vehicles when trying to stop in the event of a stopped vehicle or other maneuver that must be taken unexpectedly. Not all drivers operate their vehicles in the same manner as other drivers and more experienced drivers may overestimate their abilities to react appropriately to a sudden need to swerve, dodge, or stop on wet roadways. Swerving can cause other motorists driving behind you to have to react suddenly. When this happens, more inexperienced drivers may easily lose control of their vehicles and this may lead into a collision. Collisions in bad weather most often lead to more than one vehicle being involved in an accident, as sudden maneuvers on wet roads require greater braking distances. When traffic in bad weather is heavy, drivers are forced to reduce the speeds in which they drive and this causes cars to be more closely packed together. Ample space between vehicles is highly recommended in order to provide motorists with better time to react to a sudden stop in the flow of traffic. Visibility is another very important factor to consider when driving in bad weather. When visibility is reduced because of heavy rain or fog, the chances of an accident increase, especially when driving at speeds that exceed 30 mph.
Sharing the Road with Trucks in Bad Weather
When sharing roadways with trucks and big rigs, the chances of a minor accident turning into a serious traffic incident increase. Large trucks are difficult to stop on dry roads and on wet roads they can easily slide out of control and lead to motor vehicle mayhem. That is why it is always best to approach trucks cautiously when overtaking them under poor weather conditions or at speeds inappropriate for poor driving conditions. When visibility is reduced due to heavy rains, wet roadways may make it difficult for truck drivers to spot vehicles approaching them from the sides or from behind at high speeds given that the many rows of tires kick up large amounts of water off the road. Also, winds are intensified and can affect smaller vehicles as they pass them. This can have a dire effect on less experienced drivers and may cause them to lose control on wet roadways.
Motorcycles on Highways in Bad Weather
Motorcycle riders must also proceed with extra caution when riding in bad weather and on highways at high speeds. Many motorcycle riders sometimes fail to consider the risks they face when sharing wet and slippery highway surfaces with other motor vehicles. A motorcycle rider may easily lose control of their bike when a sudden maneuver is required, for example to avoid a car or truck that has made an unexpected stop or that has crashed into another vehicle. Lane splitting on wet surfaces or in heavy traffic may lead to a motorcycle accident which in turn, can cause a multi-vehicle incident. Motorcycle accidents in poor weather conditions most often lead to serious personal injury and may even be fatal to motorcycle riders. Though helmets save the lives of many motorcycle riders, the rest of their bodies are exposed to injury, especially on a highway when they are propelled into the flow of oncoming vehicles at high speed.
Mechanical problems such as tire blow-outs or brake failure can also occur when driving under poor weather conditions such as heavy storms or fog. When a mechanical problem occurs on a highway and under sever weather conditions, the results can be very dramatic and involve a number of vehicles. Swerving and braking become a major issue for motorists, especially those distracted by negligent cell phone use or those driving under the influence. That is why the Perazzo Law Firm urges motorists to drive safely and avoid using their cellphones or drive under the influence, especially under poor weather conditions.
Safety Tips for Driving in Bad Weather
In Miami, the Perazzo Law Firm suggests the following safety tips for motorists driving in bad weather:
- Do not use your cellphone unless you have pulled over or need to report a roadway emergency or accident.
- Do not drive under the influence.
- Slow down and proceed at a safe speed.
- Avoid overtaking vehicles or abruptly switching lanes.
- Do not use your hazard lights unless you are pulled over or need to warn motorists driving behind you of a road emergency ahead.
- Make sure to keep ample distance between the vehicles ahead of you.
- Make sure your wipers and defoggers function properly.
- Make sure your tires are road worthy.
- Make sure your brakes work properly. Vehicle maintenance is of utmost importance for motorists that take to the road.
- In the event of fog; slow down, roll down your windows, do not use your high beams, and do not stop unless there is an emergency.
- Stay alert and use your rear view mirrors at all times in case you need to change lanes or stop suddenly.
- If weather conditions are severe, pull into a service station or get off the highway until the weather improves.
- Drive safely and stay alert at all times.
If you, a friend, or relative has been involved in a roadway accident while driving under poor weather conditions, contact the Perazzo Law Firm ONLINE for a FREE initial consultation and ZERO OUT-OF-POCKET FEES to our personal injury clients.
THE PERAZZO LAW FIRM – DEDICATED TO PUTTING YOUR INTERESTS FIRST!
Offices in Miami-Dade