Driving Safely in Severe Weather

September 08, 2020

By Keffer Hirschauer LLP

Driving Safely in Severe Weather

he weather in Indianapolis can change in an instant—beautiful skies giving way to drenching downpours or, as we approach winter, massive snowstorms. It is difficult for motorists to know ahead of time just what the weather will be when they put their key in the ignition.

Unfortunately, severe weather is a danger to motorists and pedestrians. It is very easy for an inexperienced driver to lose control of their vehicle and spin out of control, crashing into innocent victims. However, our Indianapolis car accident lawyer offers the following tips for maintaining control in even the harshest conditions.

Ease Off the Gas

Inclement weather makes the roads slippery, and motorists will need all the time they can to slow down. For this reason, they should reduce their speed. Remember, the speed limit is the maximum speed allowed in perfect conditions. When it rains or snows, drivers need to go much slower so they can avoid a crash.

Turn on the Headlights

Severe storms dramatically reduce visibility. This not only impacts your ability to see other vehicles but also the ability of others to see you. If a motorist can’t see you, they can’t avoid hitting you—it’s that simple.

Increase your visibility by turning on your headlights. Many newer models automatically turn on headlights when it gets dark, but double check to make sure yours are on.

Allow More Distance

Generally, motorists need several seconds between them and the vehicle in front. In severe weather, you should increase the distance. With this extra cushion, you will have more time to swerve or stop, avoiding a crash.

Stay in Your Lane

Lane changes increase the risks of an accident, especially during a snow or ice storm. If possible, stay in your lane for the duration of your trip, even if this means you need additional time to reach your destination. If you must pass, then do so with extreme caution.

Check Your Wiper Blades Regularly

You need your windshield clear during severe weather, which means that you should replace any blades that are in disrepair. We recommend checking them every week. If they are not keeping the window clear, head to the mechanics for a fresh set.

Clean Off Snow Before Driving

This is a big one. We see far too many motorists only clear off the windshield after a snowstorm. As they begin driving, the snow on the roof of the car slides down over the windshield, obstructing their view. To prevent this, clear off the entire car before starting out on your trip.

Pull Off the Road if Necessary

Some weather is so dangerous that it is safer to pull off the road and wait it out. If there are white-out conditions, or if the fog is so strong you can’t see past the front of your vehicle, you should stop driving. Ideally, you will pull off the highway and wait in a parking lot. Staying in the breakdown lane increases the risks that another vehicle coming behind will slam into you.

We Represent People Injured in Accidents

Unfortunately, far too many motorists drive recklessly in poor weather. They end up crashing and injuring hundreds of people each year. For help deciding if you have a legal claim, contact Indianapolis Injury Lawyers today.