The summer months mean relaxation and fun for locals as well as tourists throughout Florida. With children out of school, there are increased opportunities to hit the road and take advantage of all the Sunshine State has to offer. At the same time, this time of year is also hurricane season, and severe rain and wind conditions can spring up suddenly, and with little warning. Car accidents and injuries as a result of these conditions are unfortunately common, and drivers need to be aware of the dangers, as well as how they can protect themselves and their passengers. The following are important driving tips to be aware of, not only during hurricane conditions, but any time adverse weather occurs when you are on the road.
Dangers Posed By Wind and Rain
Throughout the year and particularly during the summer hurricane season, Florida experiences an above average amount of rain. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection states that the average rainfall in our state is roughly 55 inches annually, almost twice as much as the national average. While many drivers downplay the potential dangers of driving in wind and rain, these types of conditions can be even more dangerous than driving in cold weather hazards found outside of the south, such as snow and ice. According to a 2015 USA Today report, research indicates that rain is more likely than snow to result in serious and potentially life threatening car accidents, largely due to the lack of caution shown by drivers and the false impression that rain and wind do not significantly impact road conditions.
According to the Federal Highway Administration, heavy downpours, wind gusts, tropical storms, and hurricane conditions all have the potential to serious increase a driver’s risk of accidents and injuries. Decreased visibility, reduced traction, poor performance, and road damages can all present hazards that have the potential to cause serious injuries for you as well as your passengers.
Safe Driving Tips
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), the best bet is to keep off the road during heavy rains and tropical storms. If you get caught out traveling during a heavy downpour, the AAA recommends following these safety tips:
- Slow down your speed, and realize that even a thin layer of water can cause your car to hydroplane.
- Be cautious of puddles, which may be deeper than they appear.
- Turn off your cruise control, and keep both hands on the wheel at all times.
- Use caution on overpasses, which can be particularly susceptible to wind gusts.
- Avoid bridges, which can get washed out quickly in flash floods.
- Give other vehicles plenty of space, avoid driving alongside trucks and SUVs, which are more impacted by heavy wind gusts.
When driving in poor conditions, avoid distractions such as your cellphone and changing radio stations. Keep your eyes and your attention on the road in front of you, and be ready to act should an adverse event occurs.
Let Us Assist You with Your Case
If you or someone you care about is injured as the result of a car accident, contact our experienced Florida car accident attorneys today. At Hogan Frick, we can advise you on how to get the compensation you are entitled to for your injuries, either through an insurance company settlement or by filing a personal injury lawsuit.