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How Safe Driving Can Prevent Car Accidents in Storms

Rain is the leading cause of weather-related accidents. Follow these simple tips to drive safely during summer storms.

If you live in St. Louis, you know how fast a summer storm can blow into the city – and how devastating a storm can be to traffic. It’s not uncommon to face serious delays – or accidents – when a severe storm reaches the city.

The last thing you want is to get into an accident during a summer downpour. In this article, we’ll give you some advice from experienced St. Louis car accident attorneys to help you stay safe on the roads during the rain!

summer storm car accident in ST. Louis

1. Avoid Highways and Consider Taking an Alternate Route Home

Highways are usually the most common area where an auto accident will occur due to rain because of the high speeds and reduced visibility. In addition, changes in traffic patterns caused by crashes may make traffic flow unpredictable – further increasing your risk of an accident.

Consider checking the condition of the roads and accident reports before driving in the rain and taking an alternate route that avoids highway slowdowns and accidents.

2. Make Sure Your Wipers and Tires Are in Good Shape Before Storm Season

Your car needs to be in good shape to keep you safe during a storm. If your tires are worn down, you’re more likely to hydroplane – skid across the surface of the water – when trying to stop or slow down.

This is because the “siping” that ejects water from your tires is too worn down. Make sure your tires are in good condition before summer rains come to town.

In addition, make sure your windshield wipers are working correctly and that you have plenty of wiper fluid so you can wash away dirt and mud.

3. Slow down (And Brake Gradually)

The higher your speed, the harder it is to stop without hydroplaning while driving in the rain. Take things slow. In addition, take it easy on your brakes when you can. The slower you brake, the less likely you are to hydroplane.

4. Be Aware of Your Surroundings (Don’t Be Distracted)

Turn down your music, and don’t even think about touching that cell phone. You need to drive without interruptions and distractions to make sure you’re safe in a storm. That means you need a full awareness of your surroundings.

5. Keep More Space Between Yourself and Other Vehicles

You are supposed to keep one car length between yourself and other drivers for every 10 mph your speed increases. Follow this guideline – and add an extra 2-3 lengths. This will ensure you have plenty of time to react properly in case of an emergency stop.

What to Do When Driving in a Dust Storm

A dust storm is when strong winds kick up loose dirt and sand from the ground, creating a giant cloud of debris. This debris can be anywhere from small particles to large pieces of rocks and gravel. And when this happens, it can cause some serious problems for drivers.

For one, it can reduce visibility to zero in an instant. This means that if you’re driving and a dust storm hits, you could suddenly find yourself unable to see the road in front of you. 

Another problem with dust storms is that they can cause your car to lose traction. This is because the dirt and sand can get caught in your tires, making it difficult for them to grip the road. And if you’re driving fast, this can lead to serious accidents.

What Can You Do to Stay Safe if You Find Yourself Caught in a Dust Storm?

First, if at all possible, try to avoid driving through one. If you see a dust storm coming, pull over to a safe location and wait it out, if possible. Be careful where you pull over. Ensure you’re not blocking the road or putting yourself in a dangerous situation. 

If you can’t avoid driving through a dust storm, you can do a few things to stay safe. Here are some of them:

Slow Down

It might be tempting to try to outrun a dust storm. However, the winds associated with these storms can easily overturn a vehicle. Plus, if you’re driving too fast, it’ll be much harder to see and much easier to lose control. The best thing you can do is to slow down. A low speed will help your tires grip the road better and give you more time to react if something happens.

Put on Your Low Beams

Given the reduced visibility that comes with a dust storm, it’s important to ensure you have your headlights on. Make sure you have your low beams on. High beams will reflect the debris back at you, making it even harder to see. Plus, their bright light can be blinding to oncoming traffic.

Watch for Other Vehicles

When driving in a dust storm, it’s important to be aware of the other vehicles around you. After all, the motorists around you are having just as much trouble seeing as you are. So, it’s best to keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you. At the same time, stay in your lane and don’t try to pass anyone.

St. Louis Car Accident Attorneys

Rain is the leading cause of weather-related accidents. Following these simple tips can save lives.

If you have been involved in a weather-related car accident in St. Louis, give us a call 24/7 at (314) 361-4242 for a FREE case evaluation.

Updated: October 27, 2022