Decades of scientific meteorology backed by advanced technology and we
still are left guessing when it comes to tomorrow’s weather. With
this in mind, it is no surprise that the best of drivers can get caught
out in the worst of weather, and wind up in a serious
car accident. In Florida in particular, wet and rough weather can toss in from the
Atlantic or the Gulf without warning, creating dangerous hazards along
streets and highways. To increase your chances of avoiding a collision,
preparation and a little bit of safe driving knowledge can go a long way.
Keep these seven safe driving tips for inclement weather in mind when you
hit the road:
Inspect your ride: If you see the unfriendly weather on the horizon, or if it is already on
top of you before you head out, give your car a quick inspection for any
big problems. Tire pressure, windshield wipers, and headlights should
be the priority.
Slow and steady: The best and easiest advice you can get about good driving in bad weather
is to slow down. And yet, glancing around at adjacent lanes in the rain
and you will see that most drivers don’t know or respect this safety
tip. Cut your speed by 5 miles per hour in a light rain, 10 miles per
hour in a downpour, and 15 miles per hour in snow or a storm accompanied
by harsh winds. Of course, these are just guidelines. Always decrease
your speed accordingly to the situation to maintain safety.
Do not tailgate: Remember the 3-second rule for following other drivers? In inclement weather,
it is recommended that you extend the gap between vehicles to five or
six seconds, even when you are driving much slower. You are going to want
that extra space to stop or maneuver in case a worst case scenario unfolds.
Smooth turning and braking: Keeping control of your vehicle is much easier when you have control of
your own motions. Be mindful of how you are handling the steering wheel
and the brakes. Your sudden, jerky movements will translate directly to
your car and could contribute to a crash.
Spinout control: Rounding a bend too quickly or hitting a patch of slick oil on a rainy
road can toss your car into a spinout. If this happens, take your foot
off both the brake and the accelerator, and gently turn your steering
wheel in the direction you wish your car was going. With some luck and
plenty of focus, you may stop the spin and resume your drive without incident.
Turn off your phone: This cannot be stressed enough. Do
not use your smartphone when driving in inclement weather. You shouldn’t
really even use it for GPS navigation when the road ahead is so brutal.
If your radio is distracting you, shut that off as well.
Wait it out: How can you ensure you don’t get into an auto accident due to bad
weather? Stay off the road when the sky is falling. Only make trips that
are absolutely necessary to complete if driving does not feel safe. If
you’re in the middle of a journey when the weather turns real sour
real quick, consider pulling off the road and into the nearest parking
lot to wait for the storm to pass.
At The Pittman Firm, P.A., we wish you and your family safe travels during
all seasons. But if you ever get into an accident due to bad weather or
the mistakes of another driver, know that our Panama City personal injury
lawyer is here to help. You can call our main office at
850.724.4792 to tell us what happened during a
free initial consultation. Calls are accepted 24/7 for new cases and emergencies.