While winter driving is often more difficult, staying safe while driving during the summer can be tough, too. Avoiding a car accident during strong thunderstorms, like the ones that tore through Kansas City recently, isn’t easy.
Here are a handful of techniques to keep in mind, the next time the forecaster is calling for extreme weather.
Know the Risks in a Thunderstorm
If you’re on the road during a strong thunderstorm, the danger is not lightning or flying debris: It’s the other drivers on the road. The chances of getting hit by lightning are tiny compared to the odds of getting in a car crash.
Pay Attention to the Weather Beforehand
The safest way to drive in a thunderstorm is to not drive. Plan ahead by watching the weather forecast and either get to your destination before the storm hits, or wait for the storm to pass before heading out.
If you can’t avoid being caught on the roads during a thunderstorm, the key thing to do is to slow down. Heavy rain cuts visibility down to a minimum, making it impossible to see far down the road. Slowing down allows you to notice dangerous conditions ahead of you, react appropriately, and come to a full stop before you hit them. In the middle of a thunderstorm, going above the speed limit is often dangerous.
Watch Out for Speeders
Despite the obvious dangers of going too fast during a thunderstorm, there will always be drivers who see heavy rains as an opportunity – no police officer is going to want to pull them over and give them a ticket in a thunderstorm. In the heavy rain, though, it is difficult to see these drivers. Often the only thing that you can see in your mirrors is their headlights, making it difficult to determine how fast they are coming.
Turn on Your Lights
In minimal visibility, often the only things that you can see are the headlights of the other cars on the road. Other drivers are having the same problem during a storm, so turning on your headlights lets them know where you are, which can make a huge difference.
Increase Your Stopping Distance
Leave extra room between you and the car in front of you. Even if you’re already driving slowly, the road conditions will make your car take longer to come to a complete stop. Giving it more room to stop can prevent a car accident.
Put Both Hands on the Wheel
Thunderstorms, especially in Missouri, come with intensely strong gusts of wind that can shove your car to the side without warning. If you’re caught with only one hand on the wheel when this happens, you could lose control and cause a crash.
St. Joseph Car Accident Attorneys at the Smith Law Office
Always remember: Getting to your destination late is better than not getting there, at all. Using these safe driving techniques during a storm might add a minute or two onto your drive, but they will drastically reduce the chances that you’re involved in a crash.
If you do get hit, though, having legal representation can help you get the compensation you need. Reach out to the personal injury attorneys at the Smith Law Office by contacting them online or by calling (816) 875-9373.