Tips to Ensure You're Driving Carefully in Inclement Weather
Negligent drivers are the most significant danger on the road. However, it’s not always drunk and distracted driving that causes a severe car accident. Many situations result from the fact that people are unaware of how to drive safely when the weather takes a turn for the worst.
Because there are so many out there who drive dangerously in inclement weather, we want to provide some tips to help you understand how to stay safe on the road. These tips can prevent you from suffering significant injuries in a catastrophic crash.
Not only can these tips help you drive safely, but they can also help you identify other drivers who may be driving dangerously.
You should do the following when it is raining or snowing and you’re driving:
- Give others plenty of room in front of you
- Drive slower than you normally would—even below the speed limit
- Maintain your vehicle for the weather changes
- Make sure you have enough tread on your tires
- Give yourself enough time to drive when traveling with a deadline
To learn more about each of these tips, read on below.
Negligence may still exist in a crash involving inclement weather. Contact us today at (800) 294-6637.
Give Plenty of Room to Other Vehicles
One big problem on the road is tailgating—the act when people drive too closely to the car in front of them. This action is dangerous, even when the weather is perfect outside. When you factor in rain or snow, tailgating can be even more dangerous.
Because the weather conditions make it more difficult to see in front of you, you must give plenty of room to the car in front of you. By providing enough room in front of you in terrible weather, you can stop when needed. Make sure you’re leaving yourself enough time to stop should you encounter traffic and need to hit your brakes.
Having to slam on your brakes when the ground is wet or slippery can send your car spiraling out of control. You may not stop in time, and you can collide with the car in front of you. Even though weather plays a part in this, when tailgating is a factor, there is still negligence involved.
It may be difficult as a driver to create room behind you if you feel a driver is tailgating you, but you should recognize the dangers of this situation. As such, if a vehicle is following too closely behind you in inclement weather, you should take a safe opportunity to pull off to the side of the road and let the vehicle pass.
Driver Slower than Normal
In almost every situation, drivers must adhere to the speed limit. When the weather is perfect, even driving slower than the speed limit can create dangers for drivers on the road. However, when the weather is terrible, driving slower than the speed limit is highly recommended.
When you’re operating a vehicle, you should drive safe for conditions, which doesn’t always mean sticking with the speed limit. It involves observing the conditions of the road, other drivers, and your abilities, and choosing to drive at a speed that is safe for the weather.
Driving too fast can give drivers very little time to make decisions when there are visibility issues. Even worse, rain and snow can make it difficult to stop. When you drive too fast in this type of weather, stopping is almost impossible. You can collide with vehicles in front of you, and the damages can be catastrophic.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Aside from your driving capabilities, your vehicle is the most critical factor in inclement weather. You want to ensure that you're taking the necessary steps to maintain every aspect of your vehicle given the weather conditions.
One of the most crucial—yet often overlooked—parts of your vehicle for bad weather is your windshield wipers. Bad windshield wipers can cause the window to become streaky, making already challenging visibility conditions even more challenging. Be sure to replace your windshield wipers before the weather gets bad so you can see as clearly as possible in front of you.
Brakes are vital for your vehicle. When they wear down, they make a loud squealing or grinding sound against your rotors. Not only do they make loud noises, but worn brakes also make it more difficult to stop. When you factor in bad weather, this can be disastrous for all drivers on the road.
Make Sure Your Tires Have Enough Tread
Do you know what the tread on your tires does? If you’ve never checked your tires, you’ll be surprised by just how essential your tread is. The tread is what creates traction with the road and helps you maintain control of your vehicle.
Even with sufficient tread, your vehicle can hydroplane the moment you hit a large water puddle. Running into a black ice patch can also be disastrous. However, the more tread you have, the more likely you are to regain control of your vehicle when you exit the puddle or black ice.
Worn tread can also result in a tire blowout.
Without tread, your tires are more likely to turn and spin on a wet and slippery surface. You can lose control of your vehicle and swerve into multiple lanes. Make sure you take steps to change out your tires if you notice the tread is bad.
Give Yourself Time to Drive
Part of safe driving is properly preparing for your trip. If you have a timeline that you must adhere to, you don’t want to leave with barely enough time to get to your destination. Giving yourself a short time to drive often results in speeding, a dangerous action in inclement weather.
Prepare accordingly and make sure you start your trip with a slower speed limit in mind. Know ahead of time where inclement weather exists and account for the slow traffic in your planning. Once you do this, you’ll find yourself taking your time on the road, not speeding up unnecessarily, and staying safe.
What Happens if Someone Else Causes a Crash in Inclement Weather?
Many people feel that if a crash occurs in inclement weather, there is no way to hold someone else accountable for the damages. Inclement weather does not always excuse negligence, though. Certain factors may still exist in terms of negligence and liability.
Negligence exists in situations where:
- A driver is not driving safe for conditions; even if the driver is adhering to the speed limit, they can cause a collision because of the dangerous weather
- A driver is tailgating you; they’re driving too closely and not giving themselves enough time to stop in traffic
- A driver has not maintained his or her vehicle; they have worn or faulty equipment on their vehicle, making it difficult to drive in inclement weather
You may still hold someone accountable for negligence in a crash involving inclement weather. You should work with a Michigan car accident lawyer who can help you truly understand your rights and legal options.
At Fieger Law, we don’t give in. We work hard on behalf of our clients with a focus on pursuing the compensation you need. Trust in our team to be the voice you need to step forward and take a stand against negligence.
Call our firm today at (800) 294-6637 and discuss your potential case with our team in a free consultation.