Weather Road Hazards and How to Mitigate Them

By Roberto Huie posted 18 days ago

  

It seems that you take your life into your own hands whenever you leave home to drive somewhere. The roads are full of reckless drivers and other hazards. Additionally, weather conditions can impact your ability to travel safely without getting into an accident.

Many of America’s car accidents have weather-related causes. Roads are designed for travel in ideal weather conditions. When the weather becomes less-than-ideal, they become hazardous, and drivers are more likely to have an accident, leaving someone seriously injured.

Rainfall 

Driving during heavy rain is risky as road visibility is compromised. A car’s windshield wipers struggle to keep pace with the pounding rainfall, making it challenging to see what lies ahead. Rain can also make road surfaces slick, especially where a vehicle leaked oil. When a vehicle moves over these surfaces, the tires cannot grip the tarmac properly, and the car skids out of control.

An attorney from a personal injury law firm in Kansas City says that the Devkota Law Firm often deals with clients injured during accidents that happened in rainy conditions. The firm advises that people find a safe place to pull over during a heavy rainstorm and wait for it to pass before continuing their journey.

Flooding

After a severe storm or several days of rain, roads and bridges become flooded, or rivers may break their banks. Flood water is extremely dangerous as it may have strong undercurrents that will carry cars away. Many drivers have experienced the tragedy of having a passenger drown because they thought it was safe to drive through a slightly flooded area.

Flooding can also set off landslides in mountainous or hilly areas. These mudslides appear with little warning. They travel with such speed and force that they can throw cars around as if they were featherlight. 

High winds

Cars are built to withstand light to moderate wind, and you are unlikely to feel it while driving. However, high winds are another matter. Gale force winds are common in coastal areas, especially when storms are moving inland from the ocean. Strong winds also occur along flat plains where there are no mountains or valleys to trap them.

During high winds, electricity cables might be downed and land on the road. Many heavy objects lifted by the wind’s force may cross a driver’s path and cause an accident or injury. 

This could include tree branches, poles, and debris from damaged homes. When winds reach the point of causing a tornado, people should avoid driving in the area until the storm has passed.

Snow and ice

Icy conditions present the most hazardous driving conditions, according to some of the best personal injury attorneys. Slippery roads cause cars to lose traction and slide across ice patches. When moving at slow speeds, car damage is inevitable, but injuries are few. However, people who try to drive as they normally would often cause serious collisions.

The reduced visibility caused by snowstorms and blizzards makes driving hazardous. Drivers should slow right down and maintain a safe following distance from fellow road users to avoid accidents.

Fog and smoke

An area blanketed in mist makes a pretty picture. However, driving in such conditions can be a nasty experience. A lack of visibility makes accidents quite common as drivers only see obstacles and turns when it is too late. Smoke from runaway fires also makes driving challenging. 

When driving in such conditions, motorists should have their headlights switched on and keep a safe following distance. In severe instances, drivers can also switch on their flashing hazard lights to make their vehicles more visible. They should also drive at reduced speeds to take evasive measures on the road.

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