Although winter is well behind us, it doesn’t mean the challenges of driving in bad weather are over. While summer road conditions are generally better, we also drive faster in the summer. This extra speed can make summer storms very hazardous.
The following safety tips will help you avoid a car accident during a summer storm:
Use Your Headlights
Visibility is a two way street. While it’s important to be able to see the road and other traffic, it’s equally important that other vehicles can see you. Turn on your headlights and set them to low beam whenever it rains. This will also make you visible to traffic behind you since your tail lights will be on as well.
Reduce Your Speed
High speeds demand greater road traction which you won’t have when the road surface is wet. You will need greater distances to come to a full stop should you need to. Allow longer distances between you and the cars ahead of you.
Scan ahead beyond the immediate car in front of you so you’ll get advanced warning of sudden traffic slowdowns. Road surfaces tend to be very slick during the first half hour of rain because of grease and oil residue buildup on the road surface. When rain water mixes with this residue, it becomes very slippery.
Use Flashers In Poor Visibility
Summer downpours can sometimes get so heavy that it’s next to impossible to see the road ahead of you even when your windshield wipers are going at maximum speed. Under these conditions you should slow down, turn on your flashers and pull over onto the shoulder of the road.
Avoid Flooded Road Sections
If you see a flooded road section, don’t drive through it. It is difficult to gauge the depth of the water which may stall your engine and cause a great deal of damage. You also can’t see the condition of the road underneath which may be washed out. When driving over a washed out road section, you risk getting stuck in the mud and debris.
Even if you see another car successfully cross a flooded section, you don’t know if water damage was done to the car. The car may also have a higher road clearance than your car. Many drivers give in to the temptation to cross because turning around will inconvenience them. Getting stranded or damaging your car is a far greater inconvenience.
If you are unfortunate enough to get into car accident during bad weather, it isn’t always clear who is responsible and whether you have entitlement to money damages. We are experienced Chattanooga car accident attorneys and can give you advice on where you stand. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with your questions.