Florida weather rarely seems like winter with winter temperature lows averaging a balmy 50°F. As such, we hardly worry about slippery road conditions caused by winter weather. Nonetheless, if you’re headed out of town on a ski trip or we get a typical winter rain storm - we've compiled a list of winter driving guidelines for all Florida motorists.
Wet and slick roads can result from even mild winter weather. While ice is the most visible cause of slick roads, the moisture caused by both fresh and melting snow also contributes to their slickness. Braking becomes more difficult when the roadways are wet and slick. In fact, stopping a car on a wet or slick road might take up to ten times longer. As such, leave plenty of room to brake safely and always be aware of your options should an emergency arise.
A small snowstorm, sleet storm, or sheet of freezing rain can restrict your visibility in the same way as torrential rains do. You have less time to react to traffic hazards when you can't see them clearly.
Even when it isn't snowing, winter can impair visibility. It's winter, which means it's colder outside your automobile than inside. The air inside the automobile warms up when the heating is turned on (or even when you breathe normally). A foggy windshield can be caused by a temperature difference between the inside and outside. It's even more difficult to see the road through a foggy windshield.
In addition, because winter days are shorter, nighttime begins much earlier. This means more night driving, which limits visibility even further.
While the winter weather is problematic, humans contribute to the risk in a variety of ways. Many folks are simply unprepared to drive in the cold. Worse, some folks who have never understood the fundamentals of winter driving presume they do. This assumption can lead to harmful driver error and automobile wrecks.
Some people, on the other hand, fear driving in snowy circumstances. As a result, some individuals overcorrect by driving excessively slowly. Though they may have excellent intentions, overly cautious techniques like these put others in danger.
On slick roads, you can easily hydroplane or slide if you drive too fast. To avoid this, the federal government advises drivers to reduce their speed by 1/3 the posted speed limit on wet roads and by 1/2 or more in snowy conditions. By example, if the posted limit is 30 mph, drivers should restrict their speed to 20 mph on wet roads and 15 mph in the snow. Slowing down can assist you in navigating the dangers safely.
When you need to accelerate on a slick or snowy road, do so carefully to avoid spinning your wheels. Gently press down on the gas pedal to maintain constant traction with the road until you achieve your desired speed.
It's not a good idea to slam on the brakes on a slick road, even with anti-lock braking technology. When you come to an abrupt stop on a slick surface, your automobile may spin out of control.
Instead of slamming on the brakes, gently pump them to assist you in properly stopping—constantly checking to confirm that your wheels have continuous traction as you slow down. Anti-lock braking generally works on wet and dry surfaces but may be less effective on snow and ice. If your automobile has anti-lock brakes, instead of pumping your brakes, you may need to maintain firm pressure. Be sure to confer with your owner's manual for the safest way to brake.
Functional windshield wipers are a critical to allow maximum visibility during snow or rain. Wipers are made of rubber, which is degradable and becomes less effective over time. You should check your wipers regularly and replace them if you notice any damage or excessive wear.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident this winter, call the experienced car accident lawyers at Heintz Law to see if you have a case and to determine the best legal strategy for you. We’ve helped accident victims from Bradenton, Sarasota, and all over Florida receive compensation for their injuries. Call us for a free consultation now at the number above or contact us online.