Summer Weather Creates Dangerous Driving Conditions
Florida is now in the midst of hurricane season. According to the National Weather Service, hurricane season lasts from June 1 through November 30. While not as severe as a hurricane, rainy summer weather can still create dangerous driving conditions. According to NBC, the American Automobile Association (AAA) has issued a reminder to Florida drivers to be cautious when driving during rainy weather. Over 1 million traffic accidents occur on wet roadways, causing more than half a million injuries and over 5,000 deaths each year, according to AAA. We’ve compiled some tips, including some from the AAA, to keep in mind when driving in the rain or on wet roads.
Keep your car in good condition
Before getting on wet roads, it is important to make sure that your vehicle is in good condition to drive safely in wet or rainy conditions.
- Tires – Check tires to be sure that they are properly inflated and have sufficient tread depth to ensure that your vehicle has better traction on the road.
- Brakes – Brakes should be checked regularly to ensure that they are functioning properly.
- Defroster – Like the brakes, the defroster should be checked regularly to ensure that it is functioning properly and is able to provide you with visibility in hazardous conditions.
- Wipers – Wipers should be in working order and, if dull or not properly clearing the windshield, should be replaced.
Exercise caution when driving on wet flooded roads
When driving in hazardous conditions, such as wet or flooded roads, drive slowly. State Farm emphasizes that speed limits are designed for ideal driving conditions and, depending on the weather conditions, a safe speed may be significantly below those limits.
The AAA reminds drivers that driving through standing water is dangerous; it can be difficult or impossible to tell how deep the water is or what you may be driving over. Driving through water can cause damage to an automobile, some of which may put the driver at risk of having an accident – such as loss of power steering. In addition, drivers should never start a vehicle in standing water; doing so can cause water to enter the engine.
Do not use cruise control
While cruise control can be helpful in ideal driving conditions, using it in hazardous driving conditions may increase the chance of losing control of the car. In hazardous weather, it can be critical to change the speed of the car slightly depending on the condition of the road, and it is easier to do that when using the pedals rather than cruise control.
Be ready to handle your car if it hydroplanes
According to State Farm, hydroplaning is what happens when your tires are not getting traction on the road, but are getting traction on the layer of water on the road; when your car hydroplanes, it slides and is out of your control. According to Edmunds, if your car hydroplanes while driving on wet roads, it is important not to brake suddenly or turn the wheel. The safest steps to take are to release the gas pedal slowly and steer straight. If you have to brake, you should only put your foot all the way down if you have antilock brakes, otherwise you should tap the brake pedal.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident during hazardous conditions, contact the Romero Law Firm in Florida. We will help you understand your options, and fight for your rights and your best interest. Contact us today at 877-ROMERO-1 to set up your free, no-obligation consultation.