If you call Iowa home, you know that the weather here can change in a matter of minutes. One moment you’re driving under sunny blue skies and the next you’re trying to keep your car on the road in the wind and rain. Even seasoned drivers can be caught off guard by foul weather conditions. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, about 5,000 deaths and 418,000 injuries are attributed to weather-related accidents each year.  That’s why it’s so important to be prepared ahead of time! Here’s how you can avoid accidents and keep you and your family safe no matter the weather outside.

Driving in the Rain

If your windshield wipers are on then your headlights should be as well. Reduce your speed and create a bigger gap between you and other vehicles. Slick roadways can make it harder to stop your vehicle. One of the big dangers of heavy rain is hydroplaning. This is when your tires lose traction with the road making you unable to stop or control your vehicle. Using cruise control can increase the risk of hydroplaning so be careful!

Most importantly, never drive through flooded roadways. Always turn around and find an alternate route.

Driving in the Fog

Fog is a dangerous hazard on the roadway. Driving in fog reduces your visibility, which can lead to collisions and even multi-vehicle pileups. Keep yourself safe in foggy weather:

  • Slow down
  • Keep your distance from vehicles ahead of you
  • Turn on your low-beam lights
  • Avoid high-beam lights as they limit your visibility
  • Use your hazard lights
  • Stay home, if possible

Driving in the Snow

Driving in a winter mix of snow, ice, or sleet can be scary! If you must be out driving in snowy weather safety precautions are necessary. Always clear your windshield, rear window, and side windows before heading out. Use your headlights and prepare to go slow. Remember your speed should be based on road conditions and not the posted limit. Driving too fast in wintry conditions can leave you sliding off the roadway or into another vehicle.

Driving in the Wind

The National Weather Service will issue a high wind warning when sustained winds are 40 mph or greater or gusts of 58 mph or greater are expected. They recommend extra caution for high-profile vehicles such as SUVs, trucks, vans, and vehicles pulling trailers. If you are driving in windy conditions be sure to keep both hands on the steering wheel. Be aware of vehicles beside you in case the wind moves your vehicle out of your lane. Lastly, be extra vigilant about looking for blowing debris.

Driving in the Sunshine

Sun glare can lead to dangerous situations when driving. It can limit visibility and distort the true distance between objects. The morning and evening commutes are especially prone to sun glare, and it’s also when traffic is at its peak. When you’re being blinded by the sun it’s best to slow down. Keep a safe distance between you and vehicles driving ahead. Use your vehicle’s sun visor and wear dark sunglasses. Maintaining a clean windshield can also help you see better.

Call The James Law Firm

Even with your best effort to drive safely, accidents can still happen. The James Law Firm has the experience, compassion, and knowledge needed to tackle even the most complex vehicular accident cases. If you’re a victim of a collision and have been injured anywhere in Iowa, don’t hesitate to call us today at 515-246-8484. We represent clients in Des Moines, Davenport/Quad Cities, Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Sioux City, Council Bluffs, and more. We will travel to help you!

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