Late Winter Fog, Wind, Rain, Sleet, & Snow Bring A Mixed Bag Of Weather Hazards For Hoosier Drivers
Since weather has a habit of changing quickly this time of year, local meteorologist say Indiana drivers can often expect to see a slew of severe weather conditions like dense fog, high winds, heavy rain and sleet, and ice and snow impacting their morning and evening commutes. Drivers should be prepared to operate their vehicles in different weather hazards and get used to adapting quickly to changes in the way they drive.
NAVIGATING SAFELY THROUGH FOG
Driving in fog is dangerous because visibility is reduced. Drivers should slow down and not drive too fast by using their speedometer to regulate speed. Using low-beam headlights is another way to navigate when a driver has restricted visibility because high-beam lights will reflect off of the fog and back at mirrors and the vehicle. Better yet would be the use of front or rear fog lights since these can help make cars and trucks more visible to other drivers.
Drivers should also use the right-side pavement line as a guide, specifically the white line. By using the center pavement markings, drivers could be guided closer to oncoming vehicles, which are also driven by people having trouble seeing where they are going and could cause a head-on collision or car wreck.
Lastly, when driving in fog, the car should not stop on the road even though it may be a natural reaction for the driver to move at a creeping pace or even stop. Drivers should find a safe place to pull over that is as far away from traffic as possible and turn off all lights. Leaving lights on may cause motorists to think taillights indicate a travel lane, which could cause a collision.
CONTROLLING YOUR VEHICLE IN THE WIND
Wind may seem like a minor risk, but this weather condition deserves special consideration from all types of drivers. Although hazardous wind is more common in wide open passes – highway overpasses and cuts in the road through hilly or tunneled areas can create strong wind funnels that often come out of nowhere. Drivers should anticipate wind gusts when weather reports predict severe weather that could impact roadways.
Drivers should also take notice to larger vehicles traveling near them. Tractor-trailers, motor vehicles that are towing items, and recreational vehicles are more susceptible to high winds and drivers may have difficulties staying in their lanes. Being aware and keeping a firm grip on the wheel with both hands will be helpful if the winds begin to move a driver’s vehicle.
SLICK SPOTS AND HEAVY RAIN
Heavy rain obviously brings poor visibility with it but most drivers can control that by pulling over and waiting for heavy rains to pass. Those who are speeding or driving too fast could experience a much more disastrous hazard – hydroplaning. Hydroplaning typically occurs when a vehicle is traveling too fast in heavy rain conditions and tires travel on a thin layer of water versus gripping the surface of the road. A driver will have difficulty steering and braking and could even lose control of their vehicle. Slowing down is really the only way to keep a vehicle from hydroplaning.
Roadways will be slick soon after it begins to rain, as oils create slippery conditions. So waiting a few minutes, rather than rushing to a destination, can be a safer plan. Drivers should also use their headlights to help other vehicles see them. All drivers need more space when hazardous weather has arrived so allowing a couple extra seconds of following time could mean the difference between getting in a wreck or arriving to a destination safely.
Of course, there are several steps you can take to avoid being caught unaware on the road in typical winter events as well. We recently offered these tips for navigating through winter snow and ice.
We encourage you to stay vigilant and cautious as weather hazards change and affect your driving. Too many lives can be damaged by serious car accident injuries. If you find yourself the victim of an overconfident and careless driver, call the driving accident attorneys at Wagner Reese. We provide a completely free consultation and do not accept ANY fees at all unless your case is settled or won. Call us today to get started: (888) 204-8440.