Rainy Winter Ahead: How to Drive Safely

Due to a strong influence from El Niño, a periodic warming of the equatorial eastern Pacific Ocean, this winter season is predicted to have more rainfall than usual. We’ve already experienced some heavy rainfall and flooding this season and Austin’s weather is only expected to get worse as the temperature drops and we move further into winter.

This could present a problem for drivers as they travel on Texas roads this holiday season and it’s essential that everyone use extreme caution while driving in severe weather. Here are 6 tips to help you drive safely during this rainy season.

  1. Check Your Vehicle’s Tires – According to the National Highway Safety and Traffic Administration, bad tires are the primary cause of accidents on rainy days. Check your tires for the proper amount of air. Examine the tread on your tires to determine whether you need new ones.
  2. Travel at a Safe Distance – Following your fellow drivers too closely in your vehicle is dangerous. On rainy days, stay at least 6 seconds behind drivers ahead of you.
  3. Examine Your Brakes – Effective brakes allow you to stop at a moment’s notice. If you cannot remember the last time your brakes were replaced, it is time to examine them.
  4. Put the Cellphone Away – Driving while talking on the telephone is unsafe on dry days. On rainy days, it is especially dangerous. If you must talk on your cell phone, use a hands-free option or pull over to make your call.
  5. Reduce Your Speed – Slick roads, rubber tires and excessive speed are a recipe for a road disaster. When it is raining slow down at least 5-10 mph under the speed limit to prevent hydroplaning and increase following distance fourfold.
  6. Take Your Time – If you are required to arrive at a destination by a certain time, leave a few minutes early. Leaving early will give you ample time to make your appointment without speeding.

Following these simple tips will help you stay safe on the roads this rainy holiday season.  But if others fail to take precautions in rainy weather and you become involved in an accident, contact Terry & Kelly, PLLC immediately. Our experienced Austin car accident attorneys can assist you with your case. Call 512-910-2000 to schedule a free initial consultation and case evaluation.

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