Jason Stephens | March 27, 2023 | Car Accidents
Weather conditions can significantly impact your ability to drive safely, especially in Texas, where the weather is known for being unpredictable. Unfavorable weather conditions can make even the most mundane commute a harrowing experience, increasing your risk of getting into a car accident.
For Texas drivers, it is vital to understand how weather can impact road conditions and what you can do to ensure you arrive at your destination safely.
The Weather’s Impact on Driving in Texas
Of the over five million traffic crashes that happen each year in the United States, about 21 percent of them are caused by weather-related concerns, according to the Federal Highway Administration. Diverse weather conditions can impact a driver’s ability to safely control their vehicle and navigate the roadway in a variety of ways, including:
Poor Tire Traction
Your ability to navigate turns, accelerate, or stop safely all depend on the ability of your car’s tires to grip the roadway. This “grip” is known as traction and occurs at the point where your tire actually makes contact with the road. The greater the traction your tires have, the greater control you have over your vehicle.
There are a variety of weather conditions that can interfere with your tires’ ability to make solid contact with the road. These include rain, sleet, snow, and ice.
All of these weather conditions can render the tread on your tires ineffective and cause them to lose contact with the ground. When this happens, your tires lose their ability to control the direction and speed of your vehicle.
Even with excellent control of your vehicle, you can still be at an increased risk of an accident if you cannot see hazards in time to avoid them. This is what happens when poor visibility conditions arise because of cloudy or foggy weather.
These conditions are common in certain areas of Texas. For example, data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates that Dallas experiences approximately 133 cloudy days per year and 91 days with fog.
When clouds or fog are accompanied by other factors like nighttime driving, rain, or whiteout conditions, you may only be able to see a few hundred feet in front of your vehicle. This can make it extremely difficult for you to see stopped traffic, debris in the roadway, or traffic lights and signs.
But reduced visibility does not always happen because of inclement weather. Anyone who has driven into the rising or setting sun knows that a bright, sunny day can make it difficult to see the road ahead of you as well.
Difficulty Maintaining a Lane of Travel
When the winds in Texas pick up, you may find it difficult to keep your vehicle traveling in a straight line. The stronger the wind gust, the larger your vehicle, and the closer to a 90-degree angle the wind is to you, the more challenges you will face in maintaining a lane of travel.
Texas wind gusts can hit your vehicle suddenly, requiring you to react quickly and make constant adjustments to your vehicle’s direction.
Safe Driving Tips for Texas Motorists Driving in Inclement Weather
There is not much you can do to change Texas weather, but you can take steps to make driving safer no matter the weather conditions.
These tips include the following:
- Drive the speed limit, but go slower in inclement weather
- Keep your car’s tires, windshield, brakes, and wipers in good condition
- Give yourself extra travel time or postpone travel if the weather is poor
- Stay informed about changing weather conditions, and adapt accordingly
- Keep your vehicle stocked with travel essentials, like road flares and sunglasses
Above all, obey the law, put away distractions, and use common sense when you are behind the wheel. Implementing these tips can mean the difference between a car accident and arriving safely at your destination.
Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Fort Worth, TX
If you’ve been injured in an accident in Fort Worth and need legal help, contact our Fort Worth car accident lawyers at Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents to schedule a free consultation.
Stephens Law Personal Injury | Wrongful Death | Truck Accidents
1300 S University Dr # 406
Fort Worth, TX 76107