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.