All motorists need to use caution when driving during dangerous weather conditions
In Louisiana, the weather conditions often turn severe. Look no further than last month, when the governor declared a state of emergency after tornadoes tore through the New Orleans area and caused significant devastation, including at least one fatality.
Storms with heavy rainfall and high winds can be dangerous, and if you're traveling in a motor vehicle during severe weather, your odds of being involved in a car accident increase. For drivers, their passengers, and everyone else on the road, these weather conditions can be very hazardous.
In a heavy downpour, rain can impair your vision, reduce your vehicle's visibility, make the roads slippery, and cause vehicles to hydroplane (when the vehicle tires lose contact with the surface of the road and travel on the layer of water sitting on top). Strong wind gusts can make it more difficult to steer and handle your vehicle and may also knock debris into the road, such as tree limbs and branches.
Still, if you're driving in severe weather and you cause an accident with someone else, you can't blame Mother Nature. All motorists are required to adjust their driving to the conditions, which is why everyone needs to exercise caution when operating a motor vehicle in severe weather.
Tips for driving in dangerous weather
The Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (DOTD) is committed to delivering a safe and innovative multimodal transportation and infrastructure system for Louisiana. When driving in dangerous weather conditions, DOTD advises the following:
- Stay where you are, if possible. At times, people take drives with no set destination. Sometimes they drive just to get out of the house or maybe run errands that can wait. If you do not need to get in your car and drive, then don't. It is never worth the risk.
- Don't drive through standing or running water. According to D2K Traffic Safety, INC. driving in standing water can lead to a multitude of problems. In around 6 inches of water, traction becomes an issue. Your car could slide and hydroplane. In 12 inches of water, depending on the model, your car could begin to flood. Flooding can lead to engine failure, your vehicle stalling, and then getting swept away.
- Avoid distracted driving. Distracted driving, especially texting while driving, is dangerous no matter the weather. But when driving distracted in unfavorable conditions, it becomes extremely unsafe because you should already be on high alert.
- Give yourself more time. When drivers are running late, they often end up speeding. Giving yourself extra time to get to your destination allows you to go at a safe speed for the weather conditions and avoid causing a crash.
- Don't follow other vehicles too closely. Driving too closely behind another vehicle is called tailgating. Tailgating can have serious consequences, and when you add dangerous weather to the mix, the consequences become more severe. Car accidents caused by tailgating can be fatal, but they are 100 percent avoidable.
- Turn on your headlights and windshield wipers. Not only do these tools allow for better visibility for the driver, they also make you more visible to other drivers.
If you must drive in any dangerous weather, check the status of the roads before you go. Knowing what to expect can allow for a safer trip.
Talk to a New Orleans car accident attorney today
Harsh weather conditions are unsafe for driving and often lead to car accidents, but that doesn't give negligent drivers an excuse to cause crashes that result in severe injury or death to others.
If you were injured in a crash that wasn't your fault or you're dealing with the death of a loved one due to negligence, you have the right to seek compensation for your losses. At The Law Offices of John S. Williams, LLC, we can help you recover the compensation you're entitled to for current and future medical expenses, hospital bills, lost wages, lost future earnings, pain and suffering, and any other damages suffered as a result of your accident.
Attorney John S. Williams is known for treating clients like family and doing everything in his power to help get his clients the justice and financial compensation they deserve. To learn more about how we can help you with your potential legal case, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced New Orleans car accident lawyer.