As Floridians, most of us are used to driving in the rain. After all, we have been doing it since we received our license. Most safety websites will tell you that it is not a good idea for you to drive in the rain. While this may be true, this is not a reality for us from the months of March to November. With such unpredictable weather here in Florida, it is important for drivers to be ready for any type of driving conditions. Here are some tips to help you while during severe weather.
- Be prepared. Always check the weather before going on long trips. But if you live in Florida, always know that the weather can change at any time. Be sure that your windshield wipers are changed regularly and that your headlights and breaks work properly. While these may seem obvious, they can make all the difference when driving in a Florida storm.
- Tune into a local radio station. If you see the sky start to darken, find a local weather forecast on the radio. This could help you decide if it is a safe option to keep driving, or if you need to pull off the roadway and wait it out.
- Use your headlights. As soon as you turn on your windshield wipers, be sure to turn your headlights on. FL Statute § 316.217(1)(b) requires it “during any rain, smoke, or fog.” When it is pouring rain it may be hard to see other cars on the road. It may also be difficult for you to see the car in front of you through the rain. Using your headlights will not only warn other cars of your presence in the storm, but will also help you to keep a good distance between you and the car in front of you.
- Is there a tornado? If a tornado warning is in effect, it is the best choice to pull off the road and park. Be sure to stay buckled into your seat belt until it passes. Bend down so that your head is below the level of the windows. Use your hands to keep your head covered and protect yourself from broken glass and flying debris.
- Keep your windows clear. Be sure to use your windshield wipers at the appropriate speed for the storm. When it’s raining, your windows are likely to become foggy inside. Be sure to use your front and back defroster to keep a clear view of the road during a bad storm.
- Steer clear of floods. Always drive around a flooded road way. You never know how deep the flooding is and you don’t want to end up with a completely flooded car and stranded in a storm. If you do drive through a puddle or flooding, keep your foot off the gas. Use the breaks lightly to allow them to dry and not go out on you.
- Slow your roll. Reduce your speed by 5 to 10 miles per hour if in a storm. When the roads are wet it is harder for your car to come to a quick stop. You don’t want hit the person in front of you because you couldn’t come to a stop as quickly as they did.
We hope these tips will help you to remain safe on the roads during the spring and summer months. For more information on what to do if you have been in an accident, call the Brooks Law Group at 1-888-We-Mean-It.