Driving In Florida Requires Extra Precautions During Hurricane Season
The Atlantic hurricane season runs from May through November, but it is often the late summer months when severe storms become more common. Driving during wind, rain, or fog and the potential for flooding can significantly increase your risks for car accidents and injuries, and it is important for all drivers to take extra precautions during this time of year.
Car Accidents Due To Weather Conditions
The Federal Highway Administration (FHA) advises that as many as 20 percent of all car accidents and injuries are weather related, and heavy rain, wet road surfaces, and flooding are among the most common culprits. These accidents claim as close to 9,000 lives each year, while causing serious injuries for as many as one million others.
During the often daily late-afternoon downpours that are common along the southern Florida coast in the summer months, rain and flash flooding can present significant hazards to drivers. These include:
- Difficulty braking and maintaining tire traction;
- Increased likelihood of hydroplaning, causing a loss of control over the vehicle;
- Sudden washouts on low lying roads and deep puddles which can make stalling more likely;
- Decreased visibility due to fog and driving rain.
All of these risks increase dramatically in anticipation of hurricanes and tropical storms, when traffic is more likely to become congested amidst people making supply runs or attempting to evacuate the area.
Safety Tips For Driving During Florida Storms
The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) encourages all drivers to stay off the roads as much as possible once a tropical storm or hurricane warning is in effect. During storm watches or any time there are wet, rainy conditions, drivers should take the following precautions:
- Drive with your lights on low beam. High beams reflect glare during rain and fog, making it more difficult for you and other drivers to see.
- Keep windows clear. Replace your windshield wipers at least once a year and keep your defroster running to eliminate condensation,
- Use turn signals. Signal well in advance of making a turn, and apply brakes early to give other drivers a chance to respond.
- Go slow: The FHA advises driving at least 20 percent below the speed limit. Give yourself extra time to get to your destination and in traffic, avoid tailgating, improper passing, or other aggressive behaviors.
- Eliminate distractions. Keep your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel, and be alert to any sudden stops or changes in traffic conditions.
Avoid stopping on the road, if possible. If you must pull over, signal well in advance and use your flashers. If a road is covered in water, do not take any chances. Turn back and take another route.
Let Us Help You With Your Case
At the Wexler Law Firm, P.A. we care about you and your loved ones, and offer the above tips to help protect your safety. In the event an accident or injuries do occur, contact Gregg Wexler. We can arrange a one on one consultation with you to discuss the damages you suffered and the types of compensation you may be entitled to.