How Does Weather Affect Road Conditions?
David Muñoz | November 12, 2022 | Texas Law
Many people think of Texas as a sizzling hot place. In reality, as those of us who live here know, it depends on where you go and what time of year you go there. Texas temperatures range from 10 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter to over 100 degrees in the summer. Texas drivers must cope with a great variety of road conditions, from freezing rain to melting asphalt. As a consequence, Texas roads see their share of car accidents.
Adverse Weather Conditions
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, every kind of adverse weather condition calls for its own type of driving. But no matter what the nature of the condition, you should always slow down, avoid tailgating, brake as gradually as possible, and pull over to the side of the road if you need to. Beyond that, how you drive depends on what the weather is like.
Heavy rain presents two problems–visibility and stopping distances. Keep your headlights on to handle the visibility issue even during the daytime. Drive in the middle lanes to avoid water pooling.
Hydroplaning occurs when your vehicle glides across the surface of the water, unable to stop. It can be terrifying. Do not slam on your breaks. Let your car slow down gradually, and hold the steering wheel steady so you don’t run off the road.
Thick fog presents a driver with a dilemma—visibility is drastically reduced, but bright headlights can be blinding. Use your normal headlights, not your brights, even if you can’t see far ahead. Consider turning on your hazard lights to increase your visibility to other vehicles. Follow the opposite strategy that you would use in the rain—stay in the outer lane, closest to the shoulder of the road.
Sleet, Snow, Ice, and Freezing Rain
Avoid following too closely, and never slam on your brakes. Do not attempt any sharp turns or lane changes unless the road or the circumstances give you no choice. If you must turn sharply, slow way down before you do. If your car begins to skid, steer into it. If visibility is bad, turn on your headlights so other cars can see you before it is too late to stop.
There is a very close relationship between how you maintain your vehicle and how likely you are to suffer a serious accident injury during adverse weather conditions. Following are some tips on how to keep your car ready for anything.
Even a defect as seemingly small as defective windshield wipers can be extremely dangerous when it rains hard. Make sure your wipers work well at all speeds and replace them as soon as they become damaged. Buy some rain repellant at a hardware or auto parts store, and spray it on your windshield for dramatic results. Remove ice from your windshield before it accumulates.
Headlights and Tail Lights
Regularly check both normal and high beam headlights – at home, not on the road. Keep your headlight covers clean at all times. Do not ignore your brake lights unless you don’t mind being reminded that they are not working by a rear-end accident.
Check your tires once a month to make sure they are not balding. Keep your tires fully inflated, and use snow tires in the winter (in northern Texas, anyway).
Check your brake pads regularly. Do not ignore sounds of friction that appear when you brake—take your vehicle to the shop immediately.
Keep the following items in your trunk:
- Blankets (in case you get stranded in cold weather);
- A shovel to dig yourself out of the snow;
- An ice scraper;
- Rain repellant;
- Jumper cables;
- A spare tire;
- A crowbar; and
Add anything else you find appropriate.
An El Paso Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Establish Your Car Accident Claim in More Ways Than You Can Count
Most car accident claims end at the settlement table, while only a few go to court. Most injured victims would rather win through settlement because it is cheaper, easier, and quicker. However, the best way to win at the settlement table is to hire a lawyer with a reputation for winning in court. That’s because defendants don’t want to meet your lawyer there.
Schedule a free initial consultation with an El Paso personal injury lawyer to explore your options. Since most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee arrangement, you only pay legal fees if you win.
Contact the San Diego Car Accident Law Firm of Mission Personal Injury Lawyers Today To Get More Information
Mission Personal Injury Lawyers
2515 Camino del Rio S Suite 350, San Diego, CA 92108
We also serve the state of Texas. Contact our personal injury law office in El Paso for legal assistance today.