Safety Tips To Avoid Car Accidents During Florida’s Hurricane Season
The heavy winds, rain, and flooding that accompany tropical storms and hurricanes in Florida are nothing to take lightly, and predictions are that the 2017 hurricane season will end up being an active one. In addition to damages to homes and businesses, weather-related car accidents pose a significant threat. To protect their own safety and that of any passengers and other motorists, it is important for all drivers to be aware of the potential dangers.
Weather-Related Car Accidents
Poor weather conditions have a major impact on road surfaces and driver ability, making car accidents more likely to occur. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) reports that of the more than 5.7 million car accidents that happen each year in the U.S., roughly 22 percent are weather related. This means that in addition to factors such as speeding, distracted driving, or driving under the influence, adverse weather played a significant role in the fact that a crash occurred.
While it is natural to think that weather-related car accidents might be more common in states that experience heavy snowfalls and icy roads, the FHWA advises that the majority of these accidents occur during rainy conditions. Tropical storms and hurricanes can make conditions dangerous due to high winds, wet pavement, flooding, downed power lines and trees, and can have the following impacts on drivers:
- Poor visibility: Driving rain and headlight glare makes it difficult to see other drivers or changes in the road;
- Decreased traction on road surfaces: This makes it harder to stop, to stay in your lane, and to respond to changes in traffic conditions;
- Lane obstructions: These tie up traffic, and make sudden stops or the need to swerve more likely;
- Lane submersion: Flooded roads can be difficult for drivers to detect. The FHWA warns that cars run the risk of being disabled or swept away in less than a foot of standing water.
Driving Safety Tips For Hurricane Season
According to forecasters at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the 2017 hurricane season is expected to be above normal in terms of tropical depressions and storm activity. With the potential for up to 17 named storms, as many as nine of which could develop into hurricanes, it is important for Florida residents to be prepared.
The best course of action during a storm is to stay put until it passes. If you are on the road either before or after one hits, Travelers insurance offers the following tips:
- Keep your headlights on and maintain a firm grip on the wheel at all times;
- Go slow and give other drivers plenty of space;
- If you see standing water on the road, take another route;
- Avoid driving over bridges or on highway overpasses, where you are more likely to be impacted by heavy wind gusts.
In the event an accident does occur, contact the Wexler Law Firm, P.A. right away. Our experienced West Palm Beach car accident attorney can advise you on the best course of action so you can get the compensation you need to recover. Get the professional legal help you need to protect your rights in these situations, and call or contact our office online today.